General Information OTW 2010 Festival, September 14-19
"All about the festival ..."

Festival registration fee for 2010 - there will only be slight increase, more info soon!!!!

Tobie, Scott, Alden, & Cali will be back by popular demand. Also joining us for the first time will be Thierry Nouat from France. More information will be posted in the coming weeks.




The Over the Water Hurdy-Gurdy festival brings together hurdy-gurdy players, builders, and teachers for intensive instruction, jamming, fellowship, and good food. Classes cover melodic techniques, rhythm, repertoire, and instrument setup and maintenance, with instruction tailored for beginning through advanced players.

Evening events include instructor concerts, an open mike, and many jam sessions (including slow jams for those of us who don't learn tunes at warp speed). On Saturday evening we will gather for a dance party featuring live music by festival participants, who collectively form the largest hurdy-gurdy band in the Western Hemisphere.

Typical Schedule

Festival Classes & Workshops (See Fees & Registrations for cost)
The following represents the typical schedule for the festival, the details are subject to change.

Public Events Include
The following two Festival events are open to the general public. Tickets must be purchased or reserved in advance, due to State Park regulations. Both events start at 8:00 p.m. and take place in Fort Flagler’s Camp Hoskins theater.More information on where to reserve or purchase tickets will be posted closer to the event.

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Common Repertoire

There are many great traditions of hurdy-gurdy playing and tuning. The two most common tunings are the G/C (Auvergnat) and D/G (Berrichon or Bourbonnais). Those using these tunings sometimes find it difficult to play together, so this year we are establishing a body of common repertoire tunes with parts in both tunings. These tunes will be the core of the music played at the dance on Saturday night and the basis for many of the jam sessions. Whichever tuning your instrument is in, and whatever your level of playing, you should feel comfortable at a jam and playing for the dance.

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Fort Flagler State Park is on Marrowstone Island near Port Townsend, Washington. A former US Army fort, it features dormitories with cot-style beds in cubicles that can be screened off with a sheet or blanket for privacy. There are men’s and women’s bathrooms with hot showers.

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Remoteness is part of Fort Flagler’s charm, but this can complicate travel plans, especially for those flying in to Seattle. If you rent a car at Sea-Tac airport, a scenic ferry ride followed by an hour’s drive will get you to the site. A map and directions will be included in the registration packet.

If you have transportation concerns or questions, please contact us at

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Loaner Instruments

Some loaner instruments will be available at the festival for use by players who don’t have hurdy-gurdies of their own. If interested, please contact Joanne Andrus, 253-838-2045 or

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Family and Friends

Family members, friends, and musicians who play other instruments are welcome and encouraged at the festival. Our “family/friends” rate includes meals, lodging, and participation in concerts, jam sessions, and the Saturday night dance. While the hurdy-gurdy players are in class, family members and friends can explore Fort Flagler’s many attractions, which include beach walks, bird watching, and forest hikes. Popular hiking trails into the Olympic Mountains are close at hand, and the arts community of Port Townsend, a short drive away, offers galleries, shops, and historic buildings.

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Meals and Special Diets

Our cook and her staff have helped make this festival a success by providing memorable and delicious meals in the dining hall. Standard omnivore and lacto-ovo vegetarian menus are included in the festival registration fee.

Participants with special dietary needs (for example, gluten free, vegan, extra protein, or allergies to wheat, dairy, or nuts) must sign up in advance to receive special diet meals. The fee for this service is $80. Those who sign up for this service will receive information on how to contact our cook, and it will be their responsibility to communicate with her before the festival to make sure she understands their needs and how to accommodate them.

dining hall

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For More Information

Registrar: Joanne Andrus, 253-838-2045 /

General e-mail: Please use a descriptive subject line (for example, use “Question About Festival Site” instead of “Question”). If you don’t get a response, we may not have gotten your e-mail, so please send it again or call one of the people listed on the website.

U.S. Mail: You can write to us at:

Over the Water
P.O. Box 24332
Federal Way, WA 98093-1332

Sponsoring Organization

The The Over the Water Hurdy-Gurdy Association is a nonprofit organization formed to promote the use and enjoyment of the hurdy-gurdy and to disseminate information to players and to the general public on all aspects of the instrument, including history, repertoire, and playing techniques.


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Last update: March 11, 2010 (LJC)