It all started with one concert on a Sunday afternoon in July of 1976 with the combined efforts of Bishop Faber MacDonald, Joe Pete Chaisson, and the Eastern Kings Fiddlers Association (a concert sponsor to this day). In a quest to promote traditional Island music, the money gathered was (and still is) used to provide free fiddle lessons for music students in the local area.
The smooth rolling hills surrounding the festival grounds have always been popular for their natural amphitheatre appeal and the clean beaches nearby provide added fun for everyone. The land was put up for sale by the owner in 1993 and was purchased by the Chaisson Family (9 members and their spouses) in attempt to keep the festival running. Although there have been challenges along the way, the festival is now self sustained. It is the oldest of its kind on the Island and has grown to include Friday and Saturday workshops, 1 Friday concert, 2 Saturday concerts, 2 Sunday concerts, as well as old-time dances for both young and old.
The Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival was created to preserve Prince Edward Island's tradition of music. Today it celebrates a history of successful growth for 3 decades. Every year, during the 3rd weekend of July, our festival continues to feature top Atlantic Canadian performers. Over the years musicians like Natalie MacMaster, Carl MacKenzie, Troy MacGillivray, Jerry Holland, The Chaisson Family, JP Cormier, Kimberley Fraser, Richard Wood, Brenda Stubbert, Ashley MacIsaac, Kinnon Beaton and many others have performed on our stage. Our festival draws fans both young and old from around the world.
This year marks our 37th anniversary. If you're planning your summer's get-a-way in eastern Canada you won't want to miss our festival. It is the perfect spot for the whole family. We have modern on-site facilities and the best traditional music you'll find anywhere.
The Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival is the proud recipient of the 2011 Premier's Award for Tourism.
The Premier’s Award is presented annually to tourism operators or attractions who have moved the industry forward and inspired others to do the same. The Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival was chosen because it is a long-standing cultural festival that has attracted thousands of visitors to the Island for over three decades. -