Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering goes virtual amid COVID-19 pandemic

For the first time in 48 years, the Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering has gone virtual to abide by the state's social distancing recommendations.

Posted: Jun 28, 2020 8:40 PM
Updated: Jun 29, 2020 7:47 AM

BATTLEGROUND, Ind. (WLFI) -- For the first time in 48 years, the Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering has gone virtual.

On Sunday morning, the organization posted a Youtube video of eight folk music groups sharing their talents via video recording.

"This would have been its 48th year of being outside," said Karah Rawlings, Executive Director of Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering. "When they started to lock things down and it was looking like having large social gatherings was not a good idea, we had to make a decision early on."

Rawlings said this year's show must go on so they decided to make it virtual. The team of organizers are calling this year's festival the 'Indiana Fiddlers' UnGathering Wish We Were Here Tour.' Each music group pre-recorded their performances, which were then edited to create one large concert video.

"The Fiddlers' Gathering is a small arts organization, we get a lot of community support, we're members of the Tippecanoe Arts Federation and we get funding from the Indiana Art Commission grants," said Rawlings.

Rawlings said being able to raise money through the festival is an important part of helping keep folk music alive.

"A lot of the artists that we work with we know they depend on some of this income during the summer that they get from touring and so we really wanted to try and support them during this time," said Rawlings.

Not only does the Fiddlers' Gathering festival support folk artists on tour it also supports other music programs for kids in the community. That's what Rawling said it's all about, keeping the music tradition alive for generations to come.

"Most of what we fundraise for is to fundraise actually throughout the year to run these supplementary programs that we do," said Rawlings. "To do our after school arts programs when we're able to do those, where kids can take banjo, fiddle, ukulele classes."

Rawlings said the organization has big plans for its 50th anniversary so this year and next year's festival are crucial in making it happen.

"We felt like if we skipped a year that would kind of just take away from our 50th so we wanted to make sure that we had our 48th show somehow," said Rawlings.

Fiddlers' Gathering is collecting donations through its COVID-19 relief fund for music artists here and for its music programs here

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