The Iowa City Fiddlers Picnic has been going on for over 35 years. Presented every year by the Iowa Friends Of Old Time Music, it is an amazing, world-class celebration of traditional folk music.
More than that, it is the annual reunion for Iowa folk musicians of all sorts. Life-long friendships and musical collaborations are renewed, children run wild, and if you don’t hear a dozen different jam sessions, you just aren’t trying.
Even if you’re not a big fan of folk music, you should go to one Fiddlers Picnic just to experience music as it was created and enjoyed when people had to make their own entertainment. If you can play, bring your instrument — guitar, pennywhistle, violin, bodran, whatever — players of all skill levels should be able to find someone to jam with.
And please bring the kids — there aren’t many places left they can experience music as a personal, collaborative experience. 200 years ago there was no record companies, no iPods, no television, or radio. The Fiddlers Picnic represents an unbroken chain of the folk music tradition going back countless generations. Pass it on!