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!

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 nwfvolunteer@chandler-arts.org

 

Celebrate our 23rd year with us!

Chandler’s New World Festival celebrates its 23rd year with a mix of old favorites and new performers who are appearing at the festival for the first time. More than 50 of the best regional and international musicians 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 will feature some open sessions led by festival musicians with opportunities for the public to join in.

Once again, the New World Festival has been designated a Top Ten Fall Event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, and in recognition of its designation as a Top Ten Event more than ten times, it has achieved permanent status as a Time-Honored Event for Vermont.

Regular festival-goers will be delighted with the return of Ten Strings and a Goat Skin, the dynamic trio of young musicians from Prince Edward Island that brought audiences to their feet last summer. In addition to performances in Chandler and Bethany Church, they’ll bring the festival to a rousing close in the dance tent.

Canadian Maritime music is further represented by fiddlers Andrea Beaton and Troy MacGillivrary. In addition to stellar fiddling, the musicians are both accomplished step dancers and piano players.

The Fretless makes a second appearance after their well-received debut at the 2012 Festival. This unique band is quickly gaining high acclaim around the world and taking string music to fascinating places as it transforms fiddle tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements.

Longtime favorites at the New World Festival, the Press Gang performs the instrumental dance music of Ireland on fiddle, accordion and guitar. They perform this year with Hanz Araki, “an Irish music phenomenon in West Coast America,” and Jackie O’Riley, one of the foremost traditional Irish dancers in New England.

The New World Festival is noted for its celebration of French Canadian music. New to the festival this year is Mélisande. Drawing from a rich heritage of traditional French-language songs, the band adapts traditional music and presents them with a feminist perspective and a distinctly modern sound. Lisa Ornstein, Normand Miron, and André Marchand comprise Le Bruit Court Dans La Ville. These legends in Quebec’s traditional music scene have been on the roster of virtually every groundbreaking band over the past 30 years, including La Bottine Souriante.

Philadelphia-based Burning Bridget Cleary makes their festival debut this year. The band has been performing and recording their distinctive style of Celtic traditional music since 2006. Known for their captivating sound and engaging stage presence, Burning Bridget Cleary is currently one of the hottest young acts on the Celtic and folk music circuits

Liz Simmons, Flynn Cohen, and Lissa Schneckenburger are no strangers to the New World Festival, and this year they appear as Low Lily. The trio are masterful players with deep relationships to traditional music styles ranging from bluegrass, to Irish, Scottish, New England, and Old Time Appalachian sounds. They’ll be joined by Hannah Sanders, a traditional English folk singer who hails from Norwich, England. Visit our Performers page for the full list of this year’s acts.

Pub sings of traditional Irish, Americana, English and old-time music will take place in Chandler’s upper gallery. Roving performers add to the festive atmosphere. This year Mummers will join Midnight Caper and Cross the Border Morris dancers in spirited street performances. A variety of food and drink offerings that includes ethnic and vegetarian offerings from local organizations and caterers will satisfy diverse appetites. Area artisans will offer specialty foods and crafts for sale.

Children aged 12 and under are free and an array of creative activities in the children’s tent make the festival family-friendly. Activities for children and families include an instrument petting zoo, a young musicians showcase, a dance called by Nils Fredland, and performances the Swing Peepers and The No Strings Marionette Company.

Lake Sunapee Bank is the Festival’s generous lead sponsor. The New World Festival also has sponsorship support from these other area businesses and organizations: Gifford Medical Center, the Lamson Howell Foundation, Green Mountain Power, National Life Group, Inner Traditions, and the Holland Fund. Ongoing activities at Chandler are supported in part by the Vermont Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts.

Discounted advance tickets are available through August 21 online or by calling the Chandler Box Office at 802-728-6464 between 3 and 6 PM weekdays. Tickets are also available at the gate on the day of the festival. Reduced prices are offered after 6 PM.