The Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships — locally known simply as “FidPick” — began in 1976 in Lawrence, KS as the Douglas County Fiddling and Picking Championships. Originally, this competition was open only to county residents, but the dream to evolve the contest to the state level became a reality in 1981. The event was moved to the 4th weekend in August, becoming the event we know today. From a single stage with five contests in its inaugural year, FidPick has since grown to feature two stages, nine contests and professional concerts from local, regional and national acts. Throughout the past four decades, FidPick remains a grassroots event celebrating traditional American acoustic music.
The event resembles a reunion, as musicians from across Kansas and beyond form circles for impromptu jamming under the trees throughout South Park in Downtown Lawrence. Former contestants return as concert performers, and some competitors are the second or third generations of their family to compete. Fans gather by the hundreds, sometimes thousands, to watch and cheer on friends and family that are competing. Throughout the park paths, food, drink and artist vendors offer diverse flavors and wares, community groups provide family-friendly and cultural activities, and luthiers display their original hand crafted instruments.
Though the event has undergone many changes and evolutions in the past four decades, one thing remains constant: the mission to foster a community that celebrates the shared tradition of acoustic roots music, the people who make it, and those who enjoy it. Fidpick is proud to welcome guests and competitors of all ages, abilities and identities.
FidPick, Inc, is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization run entirely by volunteers and the support of donors and sponsorships by local businesses. To make a tax-deductible contribution to help further FidPick’s mission, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships is a nonprofit group dedicated to the participation, promotion and preservation of traditional American acoustic music.
Stacy Ash, Brenton Bartz, Jesse Carr, Lindsey Deiter, Chris Millspaugh, Max Paley, Paul Schmidt.
(From left to right) Steve Mason, Mary Franke, Mark Franke
A BRIEF HISTORY
FidPick, as a state-level competition, first occurred in 1981, but the event’s history takes us back to July of 1976, when the event was formed as part of the U.S. Bicentennial celebration in Lawrence, KS. Known then as the Douglas County Fiddling and Picking Championships, this county resident-only competition was underwritten in part by the Kansas Arts Commission and organized by longtime volunteer Gloria Throne. The event inspired a vision of all Kansas counties running a similar competition, culminating in a state level contest.
The event returned again in 1977 with the intent of becoming an annual affair, though after three more years, the hopes of spreading to every Kansas county became increasingly unrealistic. But with the persistent desire for a statewide competition, organizers said “It might as well be us,” and in 1981 the Kansas State Fiddling & Picking Championships was born. The contest was moved to the end of August where it remains today.
FidPick would like to thank all past board members, volunteers, sponsors and donors for their support and dedication to the founding and continued growth of this grassroots event. There are too many to list.
Dedicated to the purpose of providing a platform for participation in the promotion and preservation of traditional acoustic music.