Festivals


The Lexington Old-Time Music Gathering

Lexington, KY

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Save the date!

Our hearts are full!! Thank you to everyone who came and made this such a memorable Lexington Old-Time Gathering. Be sure to mark your calendars for the next Lexington Old-Time Gathering Feb. 7-10, 2019!

Photo credits Jo Mackby.

The Gathering's 2018 Funders and Partners: Hindman Settlement School, WUKY, Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, West Sixth Brewing, Ouita Michel Restaurants, 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Lexington, WMMT Community Radio (Whitesburg, KY)Jo Mackby Photography, Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, Be Bold, Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition. 

About The Lexington Old-Time Gathering:
Lexington Old-Time Music Gathering is a four-day winter music festival bringing Kentucky's traditional arts to the Commonwealth's largest epicenter. We welcome hundreds of visitors from across the country into this bucolic, walkable downtown for a weekend featuring the “old masters” of traditional mountain music; dance callers from throughout the state; performances by accomplished and emerging string bands; youth workshops and performances; academic presentations; jamming for all skill levels; dance, singing, and instrument workshops; literary readings; instrument and art vendors; and some of our finest farm-to-table eating experiences. Kentucky’s rural diaspora is a lineage largely responsible for the Commonwealth's unique and diverse cultural heritage. Because these Kentuckians migrated to nearby urban centers for work and education, Lexington is a perfect place to explore the boundaries of these traditions and enjoy the melting pot revival of these arts. 

The Lexington Gathering was founded by Brett Ratliff in 2015 as a way to cross the rural/urban divide with traditional arts. The 2015 gathering featured artists from throughout the region in master showcases, workshops, and square dances, as well as a Appalachian Heritage Seminar. The first Gathering developed under partnerships with WUKY, Hindman Settlement School, University of Kentucky's Appalachian Center, West Sixth Brewing, Ouita Michel's Restaurants, The Morris Bookshop, Red Barn Radio, Appalshop and WMMT, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Morehead State University's Center for Traditional Music and Center for Regional Engagement, and Parlor Room Fine Art Tattooing in Whitesburg, KY.


The Morehead Old-Time Music Festival

Morehead, KY

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*Watch this space for announcements and updates about the festival.

About The Morehead Old-Time Music Festival:
The festival started under the name "The Morehead Old Time Fiddler’s Convention" in 2005 as a way to encourage emerging musicians around the region and to create an avenue through which the Kentucky traditional repertoire could be celebrated and brought forwrad to the next generation and the next. A variety of local music enthusiasts were enlisted, and the annual event gained steam in partnership with the Kentucky Center for Traditional Music, housed at Morehead State University. The Convention turned into a Festival and has continued annually since.

Each summer, at the end of July, the Morehead Old Time Music Festival celebrates Art Stamper Day and offers over $3000 in cash prizes for contests in youth fiddle, youth banjo, adult fiddle, banjo, dulcimer, singing, dancing, and best string band--all designed to support new musicians. In addition to these competitions, the two-day Morehead Festival offers performances, workshops, nightly square dances, and camping in the the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Although the Morehead Festival organizers took a needed respite in 2017, Kentucky Old-Time, Inc. is working to revive this event.