Festival of American Fiddle Tunes – FAQ

Registration for 2016 will open on Super Tuesday, November 3, 2015.

What does it cost?
A $200 deposit is required to hold your space, $50 of which is non-refundable. Scholarship applicants require a $50 deposit, which is fully refundable if you are unable to attend.

There are three registration options.

  1. Adult tuition: $575  ($675 after May 31)
    Adult tuition includes admission to everything – workshops, in-house concerts, dances, etc., and great seats at all public performances.
  1. Under-21 tuition: $350  ($450 after May 31)
    U-21 tuition includes admission to everything – workshops, in-house concerts, dances, etc., and great seats at all public performances. If you’re under 18, you must be accompanied by a registered adult. Please register the adult first, as you will need a confirmation number in order to register the person under 18. With the exception of the Kids Track, classes are not designed with younger people in mind. However, proficient and experienced U-21’s are fully welcomed, and have generally had a good experience at Fiddle Tunes.
  1. Kids Track tuition: $125 (for a description of the Kids Track, see below)

Full payment for all options is due by May 31, 2016. If your full payment is not made by May 31, your registration will be cancelled. $50 of your deposit is nonrefundable, but your remainder payment is fully refundable until May 31. No tuition refunds are available after May 31 – no exceptions. No room and board refunds are available after June 15 – no exceptions.

If you think you might need financial assistance, Centrum has a robust scholarship and work-trade program. Apply online as you register (choose “register/apply”). Please note that except in rare cases, scholarships are available for tuition only. There is a limited number of work trade positions as well, awarded on a first-come, first served basis. Scholarship applicants require a $50 deposit, which is fully refundable if you are unable to attend.

Room and Board at Fort Worden
Most participants stay in private dormitory rooms at Fort Worden. In 2016, for the first time in many years, you may reserve a dorm room with no meal ticket (there is a limited number of this option). There are a limited number of double rooms, that is, rooms with two twin beds. All rooms come with linens, blankets, and towels, but you should plan on bringing soap and personal toiletry items. Please note – there is no music playing in the dorms. There are plenty of other spaces at Fort Worden to make music.

Meals are served at the Fort Worden Commons. The first meal is dinner on July 3; last meal is breakfast on July 10.

Room and Board Fees:
$290    Room only
$595    Dorm and all meals
$510    Dorm with lunch and dinner
$305    All meal plan
$220    Lunch and dinner meal plan

Other Housing Options
Camp sites and RV spaces are available at Fort Worden, but they tend to fill quickly, almost a year in advance. To reserve a campsite:


For accommodations in town, try here:


The Kids Track
Centrum welcomes young people into the Fiddle Tunes community, and as more and more youngsters and families attend the event, the kids programming has evolved as well. We devote considerable resources to this end. The Kids Track is a morning-only program geared towards people from the ages of five to twelve, running from 9am to noon, Monday – Friday. It has two parts:

9:00 – 10:30am: Fiddling for Kids. Young participants will be broken into four groups based on ability, starting at the VERY beginning (“here’s how to hold a bow”). Every effort is made to integrate the more advanced groups with the styles of music of the faculty at Fiddle Tunes.

10:30 – 12:00: Kids have two choices in this time slot: either play party games, or joining the Kids Band Lab. This band will be directly aligned to one of the faculty members’ styles, and will play for a dance and in the band lab concert at the end of the week. Participants’ registered in the Kids Track receive free admission to all performances, public and private, and are welcome at the evening dances as well.

The Kids Track is only available to children of registered participants, or to kids with a local zip code (98368, 98339, 98358, 98365, 98325). There is a limit of 45 Kids Track slots. Parents considering registering their child in the Kids Track should be prepared to check in their child between 8:45 and 9:00, and check out their child at 12:00 noon.

Beginners at Fiddle Tunes
What might a beginning musician expect at Fiddle Tunes? The gathering welcomes people of all abilities, but it’s not uncommon for beginning musicians to feel frustrated at Fiddle Tunes. Here’s what to expect.

The mornings are dedicated to workshops led by the faculty. Generally speaking, these players were invited to the festival as representatives of a certain style of music, one that they learned from their family and neighbors. Some are experienced teachers, many are not. In an effort to allow them to present their music organically, they receive no guidelines from Centrum as to what level they should teach – it’s their choice. Most teach at an intermediate and above level.

As a result, there is nothing geared specifically for beginners in the morning classes. But we think it’s critically important that you attend these sessions. The people on staff are active tradition-bearers, and they share more than their music. You probably won’t open your case at these sessions. Rather, you’ll be in listening mode, soaking your head in a certain style, listening to stories, understanding the context in which this person’s music is played back home.

After lunch, you can join the Beginners Band Lab – all beginning-level players of any instrument are invited. You’ll get an idea about how exciting it is to play with other people. The Beginners Band will play for a dance if they’d like, and also in the Band Lab concert on Saturday morning.

In the late afternoon we offer beginning level tutorials (see above). They’re small, so you’ll have plenty of personal attention.

We hope this information is helpful to you in deciding whether the workshop might be a good fit. Being among so many players can be overwhelming, but it helps to know what to expect. If you have any more questions, feel free to call Peter McCracken at 360-385-3102, x127.

Centrum will operate one airport shuttle to and from Sea-Tac airport on the first and last days of the workshop. You can sign up for the shuttle during the registration process. Read the 2016 Shuttle Guide.

How do I get to Fort Worden?

What can I buy in Port Townsend?
Within two miles of Fort Worden, you can get to the post office, a music store, a health food store, a pharmacy, 20 restaurants, gas stations, banks, and several coffee shops.

Is smoking allowed during Centrum programs?
As posted within Fort Worden, smoking of any kind is prohibited by state law inside any public building or within 25 feet of any public building entrance including windows and ventilation intakes.

Marijuana use is now unlawful anywhere in a state park, whether or not a person is in view of the general public. Thank you for abiding by Fort Worden State Park policy while a guest at Centrum’s programs.

What should I bring with me?
Warm clothes (think: layers), as the weather can be cool and windy; your instrument(s), clothing, a hat, and sunscreen. Also bring picks, extra strings, alarm clock, music recorder and plenty of extra batteries and media, a flashlight, coffee cup, camera, snack food, and a reusable water bottle.

Internet access
There are Wi-Fi hotspots all over the Fort Worden campus.


To register online:

Or call 360-385-3102, x114.