This is where it all began.... back in the mists of time, musicians got together in alehouses, kitchens, living rooms, mud huts or whatever for the sheer joy of making music together. Thus Folk Music was born. This of course still happens...
Sessions are often themed with a style of music, Old Time, Blues Irish etc and the session leaders will guide participants through the session, however most session leaders will allow a level of diversion from the theme (if not complete anarchy).
If you want to perform at an Open Mic Session (with amplification) turn up with your instruments, catch the eye of the session leader and depending on how many people want to perform you will be told how many tunes you can do.
In a jam session the leader will ask around the group, usually seated in a circle, in some logical order "Fred, do you have a tune for us?" You can decline or start a tune and having announced the key and the name of the tune, usually you are allowed to play through the tune once before everyone else joins in. If it is well-known then that may not be the case and often the starter will look to other players (with an enquiring facial expression!) to take the instrumental lead on a refrain. This is often the case in a blues session where a tune can go on for many minutes, until the players get thirsty. Lastly, so everyone ends the tune together, rather than shout out often the starter will raise their foot at the start of the last time through the tune. Have fun!
Dave Dando's Open MicThe Comrades Club Saturday 1:30pm - 5pm
Dave hails from Liverpool and has been on the music scene for many years! His Saturday afternoon
open mic session has been a popular BunkFest feature since 2013 and this year it's happening at the
Dave hails from Liverpool and has been on the music scene for many years! His Saturday afternoon open mic session has been a popular BunkFest feature since 2013 and this year it's happening at the Comrades Club. Soloists and small combos are all welcome to come and 'do a spot', irrespective of genre. Simply roll up, grab a drink from the bar and catch the attention of host Dave Dando!
Lucy Quinn Anything Goes SessionThe Corn Exchange Saturday 8pm - 10pm
Lucy Quinn has been successfully running folk music sessions in the Wallingford area for many years. She has a vast repertoire of songs going back to Joan Baez and Pentangle, as well as traditional folk songs.
Mike McDaid Irish SessionThe Comrades Club Sunday 12:30pm - 2:30pm
Mike McDaid has been running a cracking Irish tune session at BunkFest since 2009. "I was probably aged seven when I became completely absorbed with Irish music. My roots are undoubtedly entrenched in it, having grown up in an environment where every family gathering was a feast of song and tune". Mike's sessions are always enjoyable, informal, welcoming and a lot of fun leaving everyone wanting more!
Pickin' Lunctime Old-Time JamThe George Hotel Sunday 3pm - 6pm
Join Colm Daly and friends for a real old-time session - fiddles, banjos, guitar, mandolin, double bass and ukuleles all welcome. We'll be playing mainly old-time tunes, with some songs, and some bluegrass and Celtic. Yee Ha!