Each year, since 1935, the southern Virginia city of Galax has hosted the world’s oldest Fiddler’s Convention. The convention, which just completed its 84th year, consists of an old-time fiddle-playing competition as well as competitions in other instruments and disciplines, including Dobro, banjo, guitar, autoharp, and folk song and dance categories.
Now, the annual event that draws people from around the globe is the subject of a new documentary entitled Fiddlin’. Hitting theaters this September, the documentary will have a short run in theaters before becoming available in October via video-on-demand.
“Old-Time and Bluegrass music was born in these mountains and has been passed down for generations with most musicians learning and playing by ear,” says director Julie Simone. “This music essentially gave birth to country music, and subsequently rock and roll. The global impact of this area and its history was much more powerful and compelling than we had ever imagined when starting our journey with Fiddlin’.”
The film, which went around the festival circuit and earned numerous honors already, was co-written by Simone, her sister, Vicki Vlasic, and Janice Hampton. Local musicians including Dori Freeman, Martha Spencer, Presley Barker, Wayne Henderson, and others are featured throughout the film.
Check out the trailer below.
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Article image: Galax Fiddler's Convention in 2011. (Eli Christman [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons.)