After receiving news of the Beechworth festival returning to the town of Harrietville last week, the question on most festival goers minds – and certainly the question raised in the bulk of our incoming emails is, what is going to happen to Harrietville. That is the new Harrietville?
For those confused, the Bluegrass and Traditional Counctry Music Society of Australia, – BTCMSA – are the organisers of the annual gathering of bluegrass and old timey pickers which was held in November, in Harrietville each year. They had planned to move the festival location to Beechworth for 2011. Some folk, quite fond of the Harrietville experience, were not too enamoured with the idea of vacating Harrietville, and so another group of people planned for and put together an alternative gathering of enthusiasts to continue to meet in Harrietville in May this year. To avoid confusion, the new group chose to call the gathering The Great Alpine Pick – GAP – because BTCMSA chose to retain the name Harrietville in their branding for the new Beechworth festival.
To add to the confusion, there is also another annual bluegrass gathering in Beechworth which is held in August each year called the Kelly Country Pick. This is the Beechworth to many, not the Harrietville Beechworth which, as it turns out, is now moving back to Harrietville. So instead of having two Beechworths, there will now be two Harrietvilles, one in May and one in November. See, not so confusing after all.
We received this missive from The Great Alpine Pick organisers today.
Harrietville is indeed moving back to Harrietville (confused? so was I). Alas the proposed venue at Beechworth (La Trobe Uni) is in the process of being closed and sold off, so Harrietville (the November one!) has been moved back to Harrietville. The Great Alpine Pick Organising Committee (the Harrietville in May) wish the Harrietville committee the best of luck and hope to enjoy another fabulous convention in November….
As for the Great Alpine Pick in May we’ve been pondering our decision on whether to go ahead or not for a little while as the reason of having this convention has sort of become invalid. But at this late stage we feel it unwise to pull out now… So keep your accommodation booked! keep your instruments tuned at the ready! We’re definitely going full steam ahead!
In the next couple of days keep your eyes peeled on our website (www.greatalpinepick.net) or join our mailing list (ma******@gr*************.net) for ticketing information and registration, as well as some more releases about the program and feature artists. If you think about it, you get the opportunity to experience bluegrass at Harrietville twice this year! That’s definitely not a bad thing at all. Hope to see you there in May – Angus.