41st Annual Banjo & fiddle contest

Saturday • September 10, 2022 • 10AM - 6pm

Free Admission • Donations Welcome

Well folks, it is time to plan for an exciting day of traditional music and family fun in Lowell, MA. The Banjo & Fiddle Contest celebrates its 41st event on September 10, 2022, from 10:00AM to 6:00PM.

The event is FREE for contestants, as well as all traditional music fans who would like to come and listen. Never been to a banjo and fiddle contest before? Bring your lawn chairs and settle in to watch the friendly competition and get in touch with our country’s musical roots.

Cash prizes will be awarded in 9 categories:

Old Time Fiddle
Old Time Banjo
Bluegrass Fiddle*
Bluegrass Banjo
Ethnic Fiddle
Banjo (Other Styles)
Twin Fiddle
Banjo and Fiddle Duet
Youth (14 and under)

*Includes “contest-style” fiddling

Cash Prize Values for each adult category: 1st-$100, 2nd-$50, 3rd-$25. For the Youth category cash prizes are 1st-$50, 2nd-$25, 3rd-$10.

Judging Criteria include musicality (40%), technical competence (40%), tune difficulty (10%), start and stop strength (10%)

Contest Rules can be downloaded here: B&F 2022 Contest Rules-Final.

Registration will happen on-site, but YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO DOWNLOAD, FILL OUT AND BRING THE CONTEST REGISTRATION PACKAGE WHICH IS AVAILABLE HERE:  B&f 2022 Contestant Registration – Single OR B&F 2022 Contestant Registration – Dual


Jon Gersh of WUMB Folk Radio will return as the Emcee for the contest 


We are pleased to announce the return of a “vintage” judging duo for our 41th Annual Contest. Alan Kaufman, longtime performer, teacher and Burren jam leader will team up with banjo player and collector Jim Bollman. Both have judged the contest many times, including judging together as a team.  


Sarah Jane Nelson will return as the official accompanist for contestants (when requested).

Workshop Leaders

Old time Fiddle: Gordon Berry

Ethnic Fiddle: Adrianne Howard

Old Time Banjo: Jim Bollman

Bluegrass Banjo: Rich Stillman

Hammered Dulcimer: David Neiman

Jam Leaders

Ethnic: Adrienne Howard

Old Time: Mike Ruguska


The mission of the Lowell Fiddle and Banjo Contest is to encourage the playing of traditional music on fiddle and banjo by:

– Providing an opportunity for musicians to demonstrate technical excellence and performance skills in a contest setting
– Encouraging the participation of beginning musicians of all ages
– Providing workshops and structured jam sessions for musicians
– Welcoming musicians from all traditional communities
– Providing an entertaining afternoon of music to the communities served by the Lowell National Historical Park and Lowell Summer Music Series.

Here is the detailed schedule for the day:

10AM–11AM             Free Workshops

11AM–12PM             Organized Jam Sessions

11AM–3PM               Registration

12PM–5:30*PM        Banjo and Fiddle Contest

5:30*PM-6PM           Judges Tally Final Scores and Prizes Awarded

* Contest will end and the judge tally will begin when the final contestant has performed

Snacks will be available including water and soft drinks as well as sweet and salty snacks.

At the Banjo & Fiddle Contest, we invite you to come celebrate musical heritage. The repertoire of tunes played during the Contest is what Folklorists refer to as traditional music – music practiced by groups of people who share a common ethnic heritage, geographic region, or way of life. Tunes are shared within families and communities and are passed on over generations.

For directions, parking info and more details, please see the FAQs for the Lowell Summer Music Series on this website.

Location: Boarding House Park, 40 French Street, Lowell.

Rain Location: Lowell High School Auditorium, 50 French Street, Lowell, diagonally across the street from the park.

For More Info: Contact:

We appreciate your support of  this event. HERE ARE OUR SPONSOR RATES: B&F Sponsorship Info 2022 Click the “Be A Sponsor” button below to make payment. 

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