Barcelona Bluegrass Camp offers free workshops this weekend

Our friends at the Barcelona Bluegrass Camp in Spain are taking a different tack this year, owing to the local COVID restrictions remaining in place.

Since they can’t host everyone together in person this year, they will be offering their two days of instrumental bluegrass workshops for free online. Instead of charging admission, the organizers will be conducting a raffle for some very valuable prizes for students of the music, with chances offered at only €5 each.

Workshop sessions will be held on Friday evening, March 5, and during the day on Saturday. They will be held during a convenient local time in eastern Spain, but as they will be shared on both Facebook and YouTube, interested participants in other parts of Europe, plus the US and other countries, can either watch them live, or wit and watch when it suits them wherever they live.

Camp organizer Lluis Gomez shared some of his thoughts about having to go online this year.

“I remember just a year ago, I was living a dream, the fifth Barcelona Bluegrass Camp, and what an anniversary. Tony Trischka, my hero, around 40 banjo students who signed up from everywhere, and during two days, one hundred students and teachers, teaching, learning, and playing.

While we were working on the arrangements we heard about the COVID in China and Italy, but I was so immersed in the Camp, that I thought, not here…well, the rest is history.

It’s been a year now, time flies and a few months ago, within Al Ras, the association organizing the Camp, we discussed what to do. I have to mention that COVID affects us, personally, our families, work, etc, so we don’t have so much energy. But, as Martino Coppo posted on Facebook talking about the Camp, ‘I believe we need some light and beauty to help us through these dark and troubled times, and music can be such a wonderful guide and healing medicine.” I completely agree.

We decided to organize an online edition to give us and the bluegrass world some energy and hope.

So, let’s break out the champagne, because this Friday, March 5, the 6th edition of the Barcelona Bluegrass Camp kicks off!

Four workshops will be taught, Raphael Maillet from France on violin, Richard Cifersky from Slovakia on banjo, Martino Coppo from Italy on mandolin, and Chris Luquette from USA on guitar, this last workshop dedicated to Tony Rice, who passed away on December 25th.

The sessions will be streamed live on the BBC Facebook page and the Al Ras YouTube channel on the following schedule.

  • Fiddle Workshop with Raphael Maillet – March 5th, 6:30 p.m. (GMT+1)   YouTube   Facebook
  • Banjo workshop with Richard Cifersky – March 6th, 11:30 a.m. (GMT+1)   YouTube   Facebook
  • Mandolin Workshop with Martino Coppo – March 6th, 5:00 p.m. (GMT+1)   YouTube   Facebook
  • Guitar workshop with Chris Luquette – March 6th, 7:00 p.m. (GMT+1)   YouTube   Facebook

For time comparison, 6:30 p.m. Barcelona time is 12:30 p.m. in US eastern time.

The Barcelona Bluegrass Camp raffle will offer three prizes in the drawing:

To purchase raffle tickets, use the Al Ras Festival PayPal link.

For any other questions about BBC, you can post your query online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.