La Roche Bluegrass Festival is a volunteer based organisation with all concerts free, funded by private and public sponsorship and our own revenue generating operations, where musicians and spectators feel welcome, want to come back and recommend to their friends.

It is a European festival dedicated exclusively to Bluegrass music, featuring a variety of Bluegrass styles and related genres in different venues around town.

The festival showcases established European acts as well as new, upcoming bands playing to a large audience, and also top US acts as they come to meet their European fans



The full band line-up will be online end of March

Main Stage Concerts in the main courtyard of Premium Partner Ste Marie Junior High School - ESCR

Thursday August 3, 6:30 pm - 1:00 am
Friday August 4, 5:00 pm - 1:00 am
Saturday August 5, 4:00 pm - 1:00 am
Sunday August 6, 4:00 pm - Midnight

Lunchtime Sessions: Ste Marie courtyard in front of the food courts

4 bands play each day: one headline act and 3 new European bands (1 of the 6 European bands will be invited back to the main stage next year)

Saturday August 5, 11:30 am - 3:30 pm
Sunday August 6, 11:30 am - 3:30 pm

Street Festival: Town centre

About a dozen bands play the bar and restaurant terraces around La Roche. Book your table early!

Wednesday August 2, 7:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Friday August 4, 12 noon - 2:00 pm

To see the full line-up click here

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La Roche Bluegrass Festival
Facts & Figures

50 free concerts put on every year as part of the official festival

30-35 bands play each year in the official festival (main stage, lunchtime sessions, street festival)

15 - 20 nationalities are represented every year

The following countries have been represented at La Roche Bluegrass Festival:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States


15 tutors from France and USA live in during workshop

Circa 100 students

Full board and lodging possible on workshop site.

Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin, Fiddle, Dobro, Bass, Vocals

Structured Jam Sessions

Workshop Band Labs open festival



8 finalist bands, pre-selected by our international panel, play during the festival to be crowned Best European Bluegrass Band of the year. 2 bands play each day (Thursday thru Sunday).
The jury is made up of Bluegrass musicians, promoters and journalists from different regions of Europe with a representative from our partner festival in Colorado.

Bands are judged for Band cohesion, Quality and Originality of Arrangements, Instrumental Technique, Vocal Qualities (Lead and Harmony), Set Balance and Stage Presence, and the judge's subjective Personal Appreciation


The Winning Band is invited to play at Rapidgrass Festival in Colorado in June 2019 with $5,000 travel allowance. They will also headline La Roche Bluegrass Festival in 2019 with a €2,000 cash prize offered by La Roche Bluegrass Festival.

2nd place band receives €1,000 cash prize and 3rd place gets €500, offered by La Roche Bluegrass Festival

Contest results are announced Sunday evening.

With thanks to Rapidgrass for their generous prize


Download the official application form or write to the festival to be included on the mailing list.

Invitations with T&C are sent out to bands on the data base in January.
Deadline for applications is mid February (deadline February 4 for 2018)
Contest finalists are chosen by mid March.
Full programme is published end of March

To be selected bands must play a form of Bluegrass music or another genre closely related to Bluegrass. Electric guitar and keyboard based bands will not be invited.

Conditions for playing for European bands
(not headliners)

Bands play 60 minutes with 15 minutes set up and line check (total 75 minutes)
Set time is 45 minutes for lunchtime sessions.

Bands playing in the main festival and not invited as a headline act will receive a travel allowance of 0.35 euros for one car two ways to La Roche from the home of the band leader. (0.30 in 2017, 0.25 in 2014 and 0.10 in 2006). They will also be given meal vouchers for each musician for use on the festival site.

Accommodation in one of our two partner schools (ENILV & ESCR) from Thursday thru Sunday is open to all bands involved in the festival, including the street festival

Meal vouchers and accommodation are also available for spouses and partners of musicians playing the festival.

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in the week before the festival

The 2017 workshop will run from August 1-3 and, as in previous years, workshop bands will open the festival on the Main Stage on August 3..

Instructors will be the musicians of Rapidgrass from Colorado, teaching guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass, fiddle and dobro. All are seasoned and/or professional music teachers.

They will be supported by our usual team of 9 French Instructors covering all instruments and singing.

Singing classes will be available to all instrument players as well as instrument classes.

Different structured jam sessions will be offered (slow, fiddle tune, trad, modern, ...)

To find out more, download this document

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