There will again be a discount for prepayment of the weekend attendance fees, and discounts for kids (17 or under), young adults (18-25), seniors (65 or over), and non-players. Kids must be accompanied by a registered adult or young adult who is responsible for supervising their participation in Fiddle Hell. Shortly, you'll be able to click on the Register button to see 2018 fees and to prepay if you wish. A number of scholarships are available to those who can't afford the fees. Those who prepay for the weekend will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate from Johnson Strings / Carriage House Violins.
Getting there: The Westford Regency is at exit 32 from Rt. 495 (between Rt. 2 and Rt. 3) in Westford, MA. It's about 40-45 minutes by car from Boston, and is very accessible from the North, South, and West as well. The nearest airports are Boston, MA and Manchester, NH. There are commuter rail trains from Boston to several nearby towns including Littleton, MA (5 miles away); check the train schedules to make sure they're actually running when you need them.
Carpooling: You may also be able to share a ride with other Fiddle Hell attendees. We're continuing our new self-serve approach in 2018 to arrange carpools from anywhere to Fiddle Hell and back, with an easy to use and well reviewed website (groupcarpool.com) that only requires a browser (no app, no login). Click here to offer rides as a driver, or to sign up for a carpool as a rider. The free site deals with dates, times, vehicle capacity, and both one-way and round-trip arrangements. You can further coordinate via email or phone. For example, we hope there will be some carpools from Cambridge (perhaps Alewife T stop) and Boston (perhaps near Berklee College of Music). Of course, Fiddle Hell does not take any responsibility for your use of this website to arrange carpools.
Carpooling is especially interesting if you're coming a long distance, say from Connecticut or Vermont. Fiddle Hell is not responsible for these carpooling arrangements, but we've heard that this site works exceptionally well. One suggestion: it's a good idea for riders to offer to chip in for gas and other costs. The site will email you if there are any changes to arrangements.
If you prefer an alternative, you can contact other fiddlers through a posting to the Fiddle Hell Facebook Event or to the Fiddle Hell Facebook Group or to Fiddle Hangout. Onsite, there will be a Fiddle Hell message board in the Registration Room where you can ask for or offer rides.
Where and When: The Westford Regency Inn at 219 Littleton Road, Westford, MA 01886, combines New England charm with modern amenities, about 45 minutes west of Boston. In 2018, Fiddle Hell will be Thursday (Nov. 1) from 11AM until 3AM, Friday (Nov. 2) from 8:30AM to 3AM, Saturday (Nov. 3) from 8:30AM to 3AM, and Sunday (Nov. 4) from 8:30AM to 6PM. Come join us for a single day or the whole weekend. If you're coming from far, come early or stay on -- there's lots to do and see in the Greater Boston area.
Parking: There are 900 free parking spaces right at the Westford Regency Inn.
Lodging: The Westford Regency Inn in Westford, MA, has great sleeping rooms if you'd like to stay over. For Fiddle Hell attendees in 2018, prices at the Westford Regency are a discounted $105/night plus tax. The discount is valid until 2 weeks before Fiddle Hell. Sleeping rooms at the Westford Regency are not yet available; we're setting up the block of rooms shortly. The hotel does tend to sell out, so don't wait too long to book once rooms are available.
One lodging alternative is the sister hotel, the Boxboro Regency, 15 minutes drive to the south on Route 495. The Boxboro Regency will honor the Fiddle Hell rate of $105/night plus tax (starting in January, 2018); call their main number 978-263-8701 and ask for the FH rate. The discount applies to rooms booked for Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. There are also several closer hotels in Westford; these don't offer a FH rate.
Food: The Westford Regency will have breakfast buffets, Clark's Pub, and the restaurant. The hotel will offer several quick buffets during the weekend and will sell sandwiches, coffee and snacks outside the FH Registration room. There are also many other restaurants (fast food and more upscale) within walking or easy driving distance in Westford.
Are you a cellist flying in from out of state, or a fiddler wanting to borrow a cello and try some cello workshops at Fiddle Hell? Or you might be a mandolin or guitar player with some fiddle experience, but you don't have a fiddle available to bring to Fiddle Hell? Our long-time friends at Johnson String Instrument in Newton Upper Falls, MA, have kindly offered to provide a limited number of loaner instruments onsite at Fiddle Hell in November to help you out.
Johnson String will likely be at Fiddle Hell on Thursday Nov 1st from 11am-6pm, Friday Nov 2nd from 11am-6pm, Saturday Nov 3rd 8:30am-6pm, and Sunday Nov4th from 8:30am-4pm. Just keep Johnson String Instrument and their sales and restoration affiliate Carriage House Violins in mind when you are looking to rent or buy your next string instrument.