Berlin Fiddlers Convention Flyer Maryland State Flatpicking Guitar Championship Berlin Fiddlers Convention Berlin, MD

Three days of FREE, Live, Bluegrass Music!!! Bluegrass musicians from across the country vie for thousands in cash prizes in Adult and Youth Fiddle, Banjo, Guitar, Mandolin and Bluegrass Band competitions. Open to all.

To sign up for the Maryland State Flatpicking Guitar Championship, simply sign up for the Adult Guitar competition. Open to all ages

Please review the complete contest rules by clicking HERE

And for this year’s guaranteed prize amounts please click HERE

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Announcing the 26th Annual Berlin Fiddlers Convention Sept 21st-23rd, 2018 in beautiful, historic, downtown Berlin MD!

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This year’s headliners & competition judges, from Washington D.C, ONLY LONESOME

Group of Men in band standing next to each otherOnly Lonesome. Not lonesome road or a lonesome dove. Not a lonesome traveler or lonesome fiddle. Only. Lonesome. Don’t let the forlorn name fool you, though. This five-piece bluegrass group centers itself on the gritty, hard-driving bluegrass found in the raucous bar rooms of DC and Baltimore in the 1950’s – a period of bluegrass that brought about legends such as the Country Gentlemen, Del McCoury, Hazel Dickens and eventually the Seldom Scene.

Only Lonesome’s sound is built around the strong vocal harmonies of Neel Brown (guitar), Stefan Custodi (bass – Eastman String Band, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, Rickie Simpkins), and John Seebach (mandolin – Big Chimney, Rickie Simpkins), with Sam Guthridge (banjo – the High and Wides, Saltwater Stringband, Chester River Runoff) and Tom Lyons (fiddle) rounding out the classic bluegrass quintet lineup. Based out of Washington, DC, Only Lonesome has been gaining some momentum over the last few years. They’ve enjoyed several favorable reviews in the Washington Post – one of which describing their sound as “Music with some hair on it” – and are perennially named amongst the top bluegrass bands by the Washington Area Music Association. And you may recognize two members as Berlin Fiddlers Convention alumnus: Stefan Custodi performed in 2017 with the Eastman String Band and Sam Guthridge has been a finalist on several instruments as a contestant over the years.

Only Lonesome will headline the 26th Annual Berlin Fiddlers Convention concert, Friday Sept 21, and also judge the competition, and perform an encore set on Saturday Sept 22 of this year. For more information visit them at

Rebecca Frazier

Rebecca Frazier sitting with guitar

Rebecca Frazier gained notoriety as the first woman on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, and has since become known as “a genuine triple threat as singer, songwriter, and flatpicking guitarist.” (Nashville Scene) In 2017, Paste Magazine included Frazier in their piece titled “7 Women Smashing the Bluegrass Glass Ceiling.” In 2018, Frazier was the first woman to be nominated for Guitar Player of the Year by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA).

Frazier is widely known for her work with award-winning Colorado-base bluegrass outfit, Hit & Run. The only band to win all three Rockygrass, Telluride, and SPBGMA Festival Band competitions, this successful touring act has graced stages of prestigious festivals and venues in 42 states and Canada, and eventually migrated to Nashville in 2007 with two studio albums under their belts.

After experiencing a personal tragedy and subsequent break from touring, Rebecca focused solely on her writing for 2 years. The result is her transparent 2013 Compass Records release, When We Fall, which has had surprising success, reaching #3 on the Roots Music Report National Bluegrass Chart, #6 on the Bluegrass Today Monthly Chart, and garnering praise as “Best Bluegrass Album of 2013” by Bluegrass Situation. Nashville journalist Craig Havighurst dubbed Rebecca Frazier “East Nashville real deal bluegrass.”

Lonesome Ridge Rangers

The 2017 Berlin Fiddlers Convention saw former favorite youth competitors Andrew Vogts, Keagan Justice, and Victor Furtado take top honors in the adult band competition with their group, Psycho Exploding Orangutans. All three young men have grown up competing here in Berlin and now that they are favorite adult competitors, have become some of the Mid-Atlantic’s next generation of bluegrass standouts. We’re happy to have Andrew and Keagan together to open this year’s concert as the Lonesome Ridge Rangers. Keagan, son of Berlin Fiddlers Convention alumnus, Mickey Justice, only began playing music 3 years ago, yet has already become a perennial finalist in every instrumental category he enters. Andrew, began playing violin at age 4. He now holds state fiddle titles in MD, DE, and PA, has traveled throughout North America performing with musicians and mentors of many musical styles. He attends the Cab Calloway School for the Arts in Wilmington, DE. For more information visit They hit the stage at 7pm on Friday, September 21st, 2018.

Stay tuned… more information will be released in the coming weeks!

Friends of the Berlin Fiddler’s Convention

Bluegrass Festival Baldcypress Logo Maryland State Banjo, Fiddle & Mandolin Championships logo


Please click here for Arts & Craft Vendors: 2018 Arts and Crafts Vendor Application Fiddlers.  All applications must be submitted by mail to: PO Box 212 Berlin MD 21811

Please click here for Food Truck Vendors: 2018-Food-Vendor-Application-fiddlers.  All applications must be submitted by mail to: PO Box 212 Berlin MD 21811