The New World Festival at Chandler – Come Join Us!

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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!

A festival to remember

When the summer is turning and fall’s in the air
When the fiddlers and pipers have come
Then it’s time to go dancin’ in the hills of Vermont.
Let the mountains and the music lift our hearts!

New World, New World, world of dancing and song
Where all may have a part
New World, New World, world of kindness and peace
‘cross borders, let the nations join hands!

When the summer is turning and fall’s in the air
When the fiddlers and pipers have come
Then it’s time to go dancin’ in the hills of Vermont
Let the mountains and the music lift our hearts!
-Kathy Eddy’s New World Festival waltz, composed in honor of this milestone year

Thank you to all who came out to celebrate our 25th festival! While the weather was cold and dreary, the festival was anything but—fantastic performances, delicious food and drink, family activities, several new workshops, a world premiere, and the return of the sessions tent made it a day to remember.

We welcome your comments and photos on the New World Festival Facebook page.

We look forward to seeing you next year!

Volunteers needed for this year’s New World Festival

Chandler’s New World Festival continues its tradition of presenting vibrant Celtic and French Canadian music and dance on Sunday September 3rd. The New World Festival has earned the distinction of being a Time-Honored Top Ten Event as designated by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

Central to the Festival’s success is its core of more than 100 enthusiastic volunteers whose only payment is the gratitude of the community and the joy brought to patrons and performers. Their 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 – earn volunteers an all-day pass to the festival. Interested persons, age 12 or older, are asked to contact the festival’s volunteer coordinator, Yasi Zeichner, at nwfvolunteer@chandler-arts.org, or call 802-485-9242.

The daylong event begins at noon on Labor Day Sunday and celebrates the region’s Celtic and French American musical heritage brought to northern New England by English, Scottish, Irish and French-Canadian immigrants. With Main Street closed to traffic, the festival site is an intimate pedestrian village. Nearly 75 of the best regional and international musicians play concerts, offer workshops, play in dance bands, and share tunes and traditions.

This year’s stellar line-up includes Irish fiddler Liz Carroll, Ten Strings And A Goat Skin, De Temps Antan, Còig, Connla, Les Poules à Colin, and Pete’s Posse.

Discounted advance tickets are available through August 25th online or by calling the Chandler Box Office at 802-728-6464 between noon and 4 pm on weekdays. For more information, regarding admission and featured performers, please visit the festival’s website at www.NewWorldFestival.com. All performance sites are wheelchair accessible.

New World Festival Waltz

Composer Kathy Eddy has written a waltz celebrating the Festival’s 25th anniversary! Piper Steve Eubanks will open the festival with this tune and in the late afternoon, singers and instrumentalists of all stripes can gather in the Dance Tent for its premiere! All are invited to Chandler’s Upper Gallery on Tuesday August 29 at 7 PM to rehearse this new piece. The music can be found here, and we’ll also have copies available at the rehearsal.

Irish fiddler extraordinaire Liz Carroll returns to this year’s New World Festival!

Born in Chicago of Irish parents, Liz Carroll is a junior and senior All-Ireland Fiddle Champion who has toured as a solo artist and with a long list of notable musicians in the Irish music world. Liz wowed NWF audiences in 2014 and she’s eager to return. Her warmth, sense of humor and delightful stage presence are surpassed only by her terrific fiddling. Fans will have a chance to see her perform in Chandler, Bethany Church and in the Sessions Tent, and will hear for themselves just why she is the recipient of so many stellar accolades.

“She may write and play beautifully about such eclectic topics as fishing, bar hopping, and yellow pantsuits. She may dream of fiddle heaven, fighting with grapefruits, and putting tinsel on the tree. Carroll’s fiddle transcends our verbal descriptions of ordinary visions and daily delusions into something more magical by asking us to notice the beauty of it all through her music.” – Steve Horowitz, PopMatters

Make plans to join us for the Festival’s 25th anniversary!

Les Poules a ColinTim Calabro | First Light Studios

Les Poules à Colin

Kevin Dunwoody and the music committee are busy planning a terrific line-up to celebrate this momentous year. De Temps Antan returns with their virtuosic blend of joyous Quebecois music. Ten Strings and a Goat Skin and Les Poules à Colin will join forces in a closing performance in the dance tent. Connla, a hot young Irish band, will make their premier Festival appearance. Pete’s Posse returns with originals alongside old songs and tunes. Wendy MacIsaac and a host of colleagues will bring rousing fiddle and piano music and step dancing from Cape Breton.

The New World Festival was awarded a generous grant from the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing to subsidize efforts to bring visitors from out-of-state to the Festival. We’re planning complementary music and dining events for Labor Day weekend. Keep posted for details!