Dateline: August 17, 2023 – Athens State University will be welcoming old-time music lovers of all ages to campus from October 4-7, 2023 for the 56th Annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention, presented by Aetos Systems, Inc.
Musical competitions will be held on the Alabama Farmers Cooperative Main Stage in front of Founders Hall and the Delmore Brothers Stage in McCandless Hall, sponsored by The Orthopaedic Center (TOC), with over $47,000 in prize money to be awarded. Proceeds from the convention fund student scholarships and other university projects throughout the year.
The 2023 Fiddlers Convention’s star-studded concert line-up includes:
- Wednesday, October 4 at 7:00 pm – Appalachian Roadshow (Special Gospel Concert) *Free Preview Night – No Admission Ticket Required*
- Thursday, October 5 at 6:30 pm – Clearview Bluegrass *Free Preview Night – No Admission Ticket Required*
- Thursday, October 5 at 7:00 pm – Appalachian Roadshow (Bluegrass Concert) *Free Preview Night – No Admission Ticket Required*
- Friday, October 6 at 6:00 pm – The Grascals
- Saturday, October 7 at 7:30 pm – The Dan Tyminski Band
All concerts will take place on the Alabama Farmers Cooperative Main Stage at Founders Hall. Access to all Fiddlers Convention entertainment is included with the purchase of an admission ticket.
Historically, the convention has attracted more than 15,000 people, with more than 200 musicians participating. Competitions will begin at 7:00 pm on Friday, October 6, resume at 9:30 am on Saturday, October 7, and conclude with the crowning of the Tennessee Valley Fiddle Champion on Saturday evening.
2023 Competition Schedule
Friday, October 6
- 7:00 pm – Alabama Farmers Cooperative Main Stage at Founders Hall
Harmonica, Mandolin, Bluegrass Banjo, Dobro
- 7:00 pm – Delmore Brothers Stage (sponsored by TOC) at McCandless Hall
Dulcimer, Old Time Singing
Saturday, October 7
- 9:30 am – Alabama Farmers Cooperative Main Stage at Founders Hall
Old Time Banjo, Classic Old Time Fiddler, Senior Fiddler, Old Time String Band, Bluegrass Band, Tennessee Valley Fiddle Championship
- 9:30 am – Delmore Brothers Stage (sponsored by TOC) at McCandless Hall
Beginner Fiddler, Apprentice Fiddler, Guitar Finger Picking, Guitar Flat Picking, Beginner Guitar, Beginner Mandolin, Beginner Banjo
- 2:00 pm – Brown Hall Stage
Appalachian Buck Dancing
Finals will begin on the Main Stage at Founders Hall immediately after all of the preliminary rounds of competitions have concluded. All individual categories will be designated Alabama State Champion, and the open fiddle category will be designated Tennessee Valley Fiddle Champion. All competition categories have eight (8) award places with a cash prize for each place.
Bank Independent Cash Giveaway:
Convention guests will also have the opportunity to enter the annual Bank Independent Cash Giveaway. This year, the cash prizes will be: $500 on Thursday, $1,000 on Friday, and $1,000 on Saturday.
Arts, Crafts, and Food Vendors:
Approximately 150 booths featuring old-fashioned arts and crafts will be open for business in the Nanny’s Old Fashioned Lemonade Craft Vendor Area. Convention-goers will see everything from traditional artwork to coal-fired metal works. Food vendors will also be on hand at the Pepsi Food Court to provide anything from a quick snack to a full meal.
Be sure to visit the Jerry McGlocklin Music Store (sponsored by Conklin Metal Industries), located in the Sandridge Hall Ballroom. The Music Store features vendors selling instruments and accessories, along with Luthier demonstrations.
A variety of FREE workshops for emerging musicians of all ages and abilities will be offered on Saturday, October 7. Located outside the Convention gates in Kares Library, these workshops, including the Children’s Workshop sponsored by CB&S Bank, are open to anyone who is interested!
- 1:00-2:00 pm – Fiddle Workshop with Daniel Carwile
- 2:00-3:00 pm – Banjo Workshop with Alan O’ Bryant
- 3:00-4:00 pm – Mandolin Workshop with Mike Compton
There will also be a free Luthier Techniques Workshop instructed by Bob Tedrow on Saturday, October 7 in the Jerry McGlocklin Music Store. This workshop is located within the Convention gates and will require the purchase of an admission ticket to attend.
The cost of admission wristbands will be $20 per adult for Friday, $20 per adult for Saturday, or $25 per adult for a weekend pass. Children under 12 will be admitted free with a paid adult. The preview night concerts scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday evenings are free and do not require the purchase of an admission ticket.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.TVOTFC.org or www.eventbrite.com. The purchase of an admission ticket includes access to all convention entertainment, events, and activities as well as entry to one competition category. Additional competition entries may be purchased for $5.00 each.
The Alabama Unit of the Wally Byam Airstream Club will host a Special Event Rally at Athens State University to coincide with the Fiddlers Convention again this year. Holding the rally in Athens will give event-goers the opportunity to experience the rich culture and history of the city as well as enjoy all of the excitement the Fiddlers Convention has to offer. For further information about this year’s rally, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to all of the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention sponsors and supporters:
- Aetos Systems (Presenting Sponsor)
- Alabama Farmers Cooperative (Founders Hall Main Stage Sponsor)
- The Orthopaedic Center (TOC) (Delmore Brothers Stage Sponsor – McCandless Hall)
- Pettus Plumbing & Piping, Inc. (T-Shirt Sponsor)
- JMP Equipment Company (Backstage Sponsor)
- Nanny’s Old Fashion Lemonade (Craft Vendor Area and Shade-Tree Picking Area Sponsor)
- Pepsi (Food Court Venue Sponsor)
- Conklin Metal Industries (Jerry McGlocklin Music Store Sponsor)
- Bank Independent (Cash Giveaway Sponsor)
- CB&S Bank (Children’s Workshop Sponsor)
- Winsupply of Huntsville (RV Campground Sponsor)
- Alabama State Council for the Arts
- Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area
- Alabama Tourism Department
For more information about the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention, please visit www.tvotfc.org or call the Athens State Office of University Advancement at (256) 233-8215.