(13 May 2020)
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Welcome to the Glebe Farm Bluegrass & Beyond Music Camp 2020 website.
How we got here
The 2016 Glebe Farm String Pickers’ Weekend proved beyond doubt that close harmony works not only in singing but more importantly, in the true Bluegrass community spirit. Mutual support was the order of the day. Those who knew more than others were happy to share their musical secrets by volunteering as workshop leaders. Our evening entertainment was provided by a splendid array of scratch bands in front of a full house. The open mic afternoon was also a great success – particularly because everyone stayed to support the performers. As the open mic combinations and the scratch bands were pulled together, new friendships were forged and so the essence of Bluegrass lives on.
In 2017, the format for this event (and name….The Glebe Farm Bluegrass & Old Time Music Camp) changed slightly to better accommodate the clear desire to learn as well as play that came across so loud and clear in 2016…… and so, it became a self-help Pickin’ and Learnin’ Camp in equal measure where like-minded musicians of all ages and levels of expertise have the opportunity to come together in the heart of the beautiful Cheshire countryside to share the joy of music. It was a great success.
One of the objectives was to bring together Bluegrass and Old Time in the hope that the two would meet in the middle somewhere so that we could all learn something about the nuances and etiquette of both. It didn’t really work out that way because the Old Time element failed to materialise. However, what did become apparent was that there is a growing recognition and acceptance of certain styles of string picker music – such as Western Swing, ‘Country Bluegrass’ ….and there is even a Jazz element that seems to rear its head from time to time in the darker corners – that hitherto have been spurned by the more purist elements of the Bluegrass community.
In light of this, to broaden the spectrum a tad, the 2018 event has been renamed ‘The Glebe Farm Bluegrass & Beyond Music Camp. This is definitely the last name change!
In 2018 the event took off under its new name and was a great success. Once again, lessons learned were applied to the 2019 event.
In 2019 stage lighting was much improved and we had two new dedicated hard cover picking areas. For this year (2020) we will have power to both areas so they will be available all night for the hardy pickers to fill their boots! The picking gazebos in the camping field succumbed to the (unusual) heavy rain. The hot food service in the marquee was a sell out every night. This year, there will be a food serving area professionally set up adjacent to the bar. Top quality food for bargain prices………and with local real ale on tap at £3 a pint, what’s not to like?
Glebe Farm is set in the beautiful village of Astbury on the outskirts of Congleton, Cheshire. In the backdrop is the historic church of Astbury St Mary’s. The farm takes its name from medieval times where a Glebe was land used to support a parish priest.
In 2010 Glebe Farm Shop opened its doors selling home grown and local produce. The coffee shop followed shortly afterwards. The farm continues to expand and recent additions include a Butchers shop, children’s petting area and playground, retail units (yoga, dog grooming, hairdresser and fresh fish counter to name but a few) and tractor rides.
At Glebe Farm there is something for everyone – whether it is to stock up on supplies, enjoy a coffee and a tasty treat, (great English breakfasts by the way!) feed the animals, get some retail therapy or to just enjoy a wander if you need a break from the music.
For those who are thinking of bringing dogs there is a public footpath that runs right through the site, leading way out over the cheshire countryside, providing a convenient, pleasant and safe way to exercise your dog (and you of course!). There are no restrictions regarding dogs other than a requirement to respect the rules of common courtesy and care around farm livestock.
Check out the video from 2018 to get an idea of the layout of the site and also what goes on during the music camp. The 2019 video will be published in due course.
Check out the Glebe Farm Shop Website here:
The campsite is located in a large field just a two minute walk from the Glebe Farm Shop complex. It has a small convex curve in the middle with a slight slope from top to bottom, so it is advisable to bring levellers etc just in case. When you find your spot please leave space for others. Apart from that, there is no control over where you set up other than what is available when you get there.
There is a fancy toilet block , fresh water supply and a chemical waste disposal point. Limited hot shower facilities and toilets are available in the Glebe Farm Shop complex.
There are currently no hook-ups available.
The main marquee will be set up on the smaller field opposite the main camping field. It will sport a fully equipped real ale bar and will be open for business from 2pm on Thursday 6th August. High quality hot food will be available every day for the duration of the event.