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Don Rickert Musician Shop

Don Rickert Musician Shop a Vendor at the 9th Annual Hoppin’ John Old-Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention

Posted by D. Rickert on


Don at HP 2014Of course, the Don Rickert Musician Shop is the store for D. Rickert Musical Instruments (Direct link to the Hoppin' John Vendors page). As this is being written, there are only about 3 non-food vendors listed. In reality, there are lots more, but we have observed over the years that most vendors wait until the last minute to confirm. For this reason, the Hoppin’ John management seem to list only the vendors who have proven their reliability with respect to showing up until just prior to the festival.

This is our 9th year as a vendor at the Hoppin’ John Old-Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention (  Yes, that means that we have been there at every single festival since the beginning. We have some more to say about our favorite festival, but first some key information… 

Dates: September 17th – 19th, 2015


1439 Henderson Tanyard Rd
Pittsboro, NC 27312


Note: If you do not have GPS, you REALLY do want to study the directions on the Hoppin’ John web site. Do not say that you were not warned. The place is not easy to find, especially at night.

A Little Bit About the Hoppin’ John Fiddlers’ Convention:

For those of you who have never been to Hoppin’ John, they are located on 72 beautiful acres of meadows Image2_5and woods. All camping is primitive with hot showers and some 110 electrical hookups available. Along with traditional contests and square dances, Hoppin’ John features educational workshops, musician showcases, kids & family activities (including the hoppin’ john cook-off), food, craft and music vendors. Campfires are allowed!

Our favorite event is the “late night” Saturday “Rowdy Square Dance.” It usually starts at about midnight. This year, the band is the “Five Points Rounders” with Caller, Anna Lena Phillips. They are very well known in central North Carolina. The Five Points Rounders are a full-on (and wickedly good!) AUTHENTIC OLD-TIME band (fiddle, banjo, guitar and “gut bucket” bass). No Bluegrass or Country Swing from these guys. Also, no songs to put you to sleep…just non-stop kick ass fast dance tunes (with a few waltzes).  Anna Phillips is one of the best Callers we have ever seen. And yes, it is quite rowdy!

See video below: 

The Five Points Rounders - Pretty Little Girl - Rowdy Square Dance @ The Pinhook



Why We Love Hoppin’ John

D. Rickert Musical Instruments does not vend at fiddlers’ conventions too much anymore. Hoppin’ John is the only one we are sure to do in any given year. Since Hoppin’ John comes just after the summer buying lull (People do not generally buy high-end musical instruments during the summer months!), Hoppin’ John has become the venue for our rollout of cool new instruments. We have some new stuff to really delight you this year.

Hoppin’ John is a REAL fiddlers’ convention. While there are a considerable number of daily attendees from the surrounding area, most attendees are either musicians or serious enthusiasts who camp there for the duration. Jam sessions go on until the roosters crow. I mean this literally. Farms surround the venue and roosters really do crow at daybreak! I think that they have some of their own roosters as well.

Many so-called fiddlers’ conventions throw everyone out at the end of each day.

Other things that come to mind

This festival is for musicians and serious musical enthusiasts: In addition to the numerous workshops, concerts and competition performances by some of the finest musicians from far and wide, Hoppin’ John is friendly to musicians of all levels of skill. There are impromptu jam sessions occurring seemingly 24 hours a day. Of course, there are many Old-Time and some Bluegrass sessions going on, but there are generally Cajun, Irish and Scottish sessions as well. Nothing like waking up to the sound of accordion, fiddle and penny whistle, or 4 or 5 fiddlers playing a Scottish Strathspey at 7:00am to get your Mojo going!

Alcohol is allowed!: There are, indeed rules about discreetness (kids around and all of that), the festival sells beer and wine. They also allow you to bring your own.

They are really serious about rules of civil behavior: Yes, you can drink beer from your coozie-covered can; however, if you have too much to drink, keep it to yourself (i.e. go to your tent and sleep it off). They are really serious about drunken, disrespectful behavior not being tolerated. This is very different from some of the other well-known festivals, such as the big one not too far to the North across the Virginia border.

  • You do not have to worry about being harassed, molested or beaten up at Hoppin’ John. This is something that vendors really appreciate, as the drunken thugs at other festivals seem to gravitate to the vendor booths.
  • Hoppin John has its own polite (even mellow) and very discrete security force. They will call in the local police if you behave badly. This is theoretical, as we have never seen anyone behaving badly.
  • Go to the Hoppin’ John website for the full set of the very reasonable official guidelines.
  • 2015
  • Bluegrass
  • Cajun
  • Convention
  • D. Rickert
  • Don Rickert
  • festival
  • Fiddlers
  • Five Points Rounders
  • Hoppin' John
  • Irish
  • jam sessions
  • Musical Instruments
  • Musician Shop
  • musicians
  • North Carolina
  • Old-Time
  • Scottish
  • square dance
  • vendor