The New World Festival at Chandler – Come Join Us!


Celebrate Vermont’s Celtic and French Canadian heritage with traditional – and sometimes not so traditional – music and dance. Each year more than 70 exceptional musicians are drawn from New England, Canada and the British Isles. Concerts, music and dance workshop sessions, children’s activities, and open dancing unfold on five continuous stages from noon until 11 PM. Food and drink provided by the area’s finest chefs and breweries.

The festival takes place in downtown Randolph, Vermont in Chandler Music Hall and Gallery, in all-weather tents on both sides of Main Street, and in historic Bethany Church. Main Street is closed to traffic, and the festival site becomes an intimate pedestrian village.

In recognition of the Festival’s designation as a Top Ten Event more than ten times, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce has awarded the New World Festival status as a permanent Time-Honored Event for Vermont. Come join us. You’ll be glad you did!

An incredible 24th annual festival

24th-new-world-festival_rec0750Bob Eddy/First Light Studios

One of the New World Festival’s most enthusiastic patrons famously remarked several years ago that a day at the festival was like a day in Brigadoon – a fleeting, magical day that is a gift for all who are lucky enough to be there. 

Sunday was one of those days! We couldn’t have asked for a better setting for this jewel of a festival. Sparkling performances by incredible musicians, a new dance floor, a variety of delicious food and drink, and opportunities for festival-goers of all ages to enjoy this last fling of the summer under bright blue skies.

On the dance floor at the end of the night, members of the planning committee were already discussing plans for next summer’s 25th anniversary celebration. We promise it will be a stellar one. We’ll look forward to seeing you next Labor Day weekend on Sunday September 3!

We welcome your shared comments and photos on the festival’s Facebook page.

Getting Ready for NWF 2016

Astounding musical virtuosity was demonstrated at the beginning of the afternoon with grand massing of players from many different groups on stage together in one huge spontaneous offering.

Chandler’s 24th annual New World Festival celebrates the Celtic and French Canadian musical traditions brought to northern New England by English, Scottish, Irish, and French-Canadian immigrants. It has earned a reputation as one of the finest traditional music events in Vermont. This year’s festival will showcase Acadian and Cajun music, featuring tunes and songs from the Maritimes to Louisiana.

More than 50 of the best regional and international musicians will play concerts on five all-weather stages, participate in dance bands, and share tunes and traditions at this family-friendly festival.

This year’s festival features a mix of old favorites and new performers who are appearing at the festival for the first time. Performers include Vishtèn, Cantrip, the Yves Lambert Trio, Les Poules à Colin, Pierre and Alexis Chartrand; Jeremiah McLane, Sarah Blair, Owen Marshall and Bob DeMarco; Yankee Chank, and Méara Meara.

So, get out your calendar and mark down this Labor Day Sunday, September 4. You’ll want to be in Randolph from noon to 11 p.m. for the New World Festival!

Festival footage

Scenes, voices and music from the 23rd annual New World Festival, September 6, 2015. Thanks to ORCA Media for being on site last year to create this virtual festival experience. Preparations for this year’s festival are underway, and we’ll keep you posted as details are confirmed.

Another Fantastic Festival!

New World Festival 2015_REB3791Bob Eddy/First Light Studios

What a day it was! Incredible music, delicious food, blue skies, and summer temperatures were the perfect ingredients for a memorable 23rd annual New World Festival on Labor Day Sunday. A great mix of new and returning performers wowed capacity crowds in all five venues throughout the day. Fiddler Lisa Ornstein of La Bruit Court Dans La Ville remarked to music director Kevin Dunwoody, “This festival is, as we say in Québec, ‘the cherry on top of the cake’.”

We welcome your shared comments and photos on the festival’s Facebook page.

Kevin already has some great ideas in the works for next year’s festival. We’ll look forward to seeing you next summer on Sunday September 4!

NWF is looking for volunteers!

We need your help to make the Festival a success! Our volunteers’ cheerful assistance to visitors at all performance venues, in the food tent, at the admissions gate, and in the festival store are notable and one of many reasons long-time fans of the festival keep returning. Volunteers are still needed for this year’s festival. Three to four hours of work – depending on the job – will earn volunteers an all-day pass to the festival. Interested persons, age 12 or older, are asked to contact the festival’s volunteer coordinator, Marda Donner, at 802-276-3808 or