Long running festival gets on
ONE of Beechworth’s long-running festivals will celebrate its 20th year next weekend.
The Kelly Country Pick - bluegrass and old time country music convention began in 1999 as an annual get together between a few pickers from Victoria and NSW and their families.
It now attracts some 300-500 musicians and patrons and features workshops and afternoon concerts held at the Old Priory with evening performances taking place at different venues around Beechworth.
This year the event will start three days earlier with a camp set to run from next Tuesday to Thursday before the weekend’s activities.
“The weekend developed out of the Harrietville Bluegrass Festival with a small group of friends wanting to meet somewhere between Melbourne and Sydney,” Kelly Country Pick director Peter Hisco said.
“These days we try to set a limit of about 1215 acts which is about 60 musicians and that allows each one to play two 45-minute sets.
“We’re really pleased with the response to the camp and have 45 students coming along and six fantastic tutors so that will be a nice lead-in to the weekend.”
A packed weekend program features performers from around Australia as well as two talented young musicians from the United States.
Jake Blount, who became the first African American to make the finals at the prestigious Appalachian String Band Music Festival in Clifftop West Virginia in 2016 and the first to win in the traditional band category, will be joined by Libby Weitnauer who hails from Maryville, Tennessee and now lives in New York.
Popular Australian acts attending include all-female group from Sydney Whoa Mule, Newcastle’s Steel City Sue, The Bluegrass Junction from South Australia and in-state acts Blue Guru and The Undertones, all featuring alongside dynamic Beechworth band Kissin’ Cousins.
Workshops aimed at musicians and non- musicians alike, across a broad range of instruments including banjo, guitar, dobro, fiddle, mandolin and harmony singing will be held at the Old Priory on the Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Evening performance and open mic sessions will take place at The Nicholas, Bridge Road Brewers, Answells Commercial Hotel and the Old Priory.
The full program is available at www. kellycountrypick.org.
LOCAL FAVOURITES: Dynamic Beechworth band Kissin’ Cousins will be among the most popular acts at this year’s Kelly Country Pick.