Hello folks! It’s time for the Berlin Fiddlers Convention, September 20th-22nd, 2019 in the streets of beautiful, historic Berlin, MD, USA and this free, family-friendly event is now in its 27th year! Bluegrass, old-time, celtic, irish, and cajun musicians from all over the country are invited to compete for thousands in prize money while attendees of all ages cheer on their favorite competitors in Full Band, Fiddle, Banjo, Mandolin categories and the Maryland State Flatpicking Guitar Championship. Renowned performers, accomplished youth and adult contestants, fantastic regional food, drink, and artisans have always made this one of Maryland’s most fun occasions.

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.

Please review the complete contest rules by clicking Here

Check out our Previous Winners & Events Here

Contestant Registration

Contestants may enter up to 3 instrumental categories and one band category. Please register for each category separately.

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Hailing from the mountain towns of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland, The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers draw freely from Old-Time, Bluegrass, Rockabilly, and Swing music to create their own brand of high energy, Appalachian Bluegrass. Gary Antol (guitar/vocals) and Libby Eddy (fiddle/vocals) founded the band in 2014 with a very simple goal: write good songs, honor the music, and take it to the road. In the time since, JFS has appeared at festivals and clubs all across the country. “The Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers are a daring and talented young bunch, and I can only hope that they manage to reach out and unite the bluegrass and old-time communities as easily as their music does.” -Bluegrass Unlimited


Growing up in the heart of North Carolina, Robert Mabe was surrounded by many of bluegrass music’s great performers. He began playing banjo at age 12 and quickly gravitated to all things bluegrass. Building his foundation on the styles of Earl Scruggs and a young Bela Fleck, Robert began to dig deeper into the banjo’s place in other genres such as jazz, blues, and bluegrass’ primary predecessor, Irish music. Not only was this his love of the banjo but also his love of the music itself – finding the progression while also finding the roots. Over the years Robert has performed thousands of shows across the USA and Canada – from honkey tonk roadhouses to large-bill festivals to New York City’s Carnegie Hall… and everywhere in between. His latest release entitled “Somewhere in the Middle” features stand out performances from an all-star lineup including guitar master Clay Jones, fiddle virtuoso (and long-time BFC alumn) Patrick McAvinue, and mandolin journey-man Jack Dunlap. “Somewhere in the Middle” also caught the attention of trade publications, Bluegrass Today and Bluegrass Unlimited, who both published high praise of the project. Robert will be joined by Virginia-based fiddler, Ben Walters. After graduating from Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Ben moved to New Orleans and for several years immersed himself in the music and culture of the Big Easy. He is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist, music instructor, and guitar builder. For their performance at this year’s Berlin Fiddlers Convention, Robert and Ben will focus on illustrating the Irish roots of bluegrass and old time music. This will be very fun and even educational! Please visit www.RobertsBanjo.com for more info!

Friday Sept 20th – Concert featuring “Jakob’s Ferry Stragglers” and “Robert Mabe’s Irish Banjo” 
– Berlin Main Street North End – 7pm-10pm FREE
– Rain location is the Berlin Intermediate School Auditorium (309 Franklin Ave)

Saturday Sept 21st – Fiddler’s Convention Competition 
– Berlin Main Street Center 10am-5pm FREE Parking Shuttle Service Available from Berlin 
Intermediate School (309 Franklin Ave) all day
– Rain location is the Berlin Intermediate School Auditorium (309 Franklin Ave)

Sunday Sept 22nd – Gospel Bluegrass Jam w/ Stevenson’s Crossroads and Blue Crab Crossing
– Taylor House Museum 12noon-3pm FREE
– Rain location is the Berlin Masonic Lodge (109 N. Main St)

Friends of the Berlin Fiddler’s Convention

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Thank you to our sponsors!

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