Info for Festival Directors

Why Your Festival Could Use a Wernick Method Jamming Class

Festival directors,
Please browse what’s under the tabs in this special section about our Wernick Method festival classes. You’ll see the ease and benefits of welcoming a bluegrass jam class to your festival, at no cost to you!

What is a Wernick Method Festival Class? Pete Wernick’s method of teaching bluegrass jamming can be taught at your festival by a certified Wernick Method teacher. A typical format is 2-hour sessions on each day, for a total of 6 hours. Participants register and pay a fee, and observers are welcome at no cost. The festival provides a space, time slots, and a plug in all festival publicity, and the teacher does the rest. Our market research shows that our classes draw people to festivals and help deepen their involvement with bluegrass

An attraction for festival attendees … at no cost to you.

  • The teaching will take place in an accessible part of the festival site, with spectators invited and welcome.
  • All present can hear the music and the teacher’s amplified instruction, directed at the registered students but heard and seen by all.
  • The class will add to and enrich the activities available to festival-goers.

A typical Wernick Method festival jam class is six hours of jamming instruction designed to get students going as confident jammers. At festivals, our classes are typically two hours a day (10-noon on Sat. and Sun.), each of three days of the festival. Participating students pay $10-13 per teaching hour… and observers don’t have to pay at all!

Wernick Method classes have taught hundreds of students at these festivals:

  • Grey Fox (NY)
  • Merlefest (NC)
  • Huck Finn (CA)
  • Palatka (FL)
  • ROMP (KY)
  • SPBGMA (TN)
  • Cherokee (NC)
  • Joe Val (MA)
  • Wind Gap (PA)
  • Bean Blossom (IN)
  • Podunk (CT)
  • Poppy Mt (KY)
  • NC State (NC)
  • Wilmington (DE)
  • Gettysburg (PA)
  • Cherokee (NC)
  • Tamworth (UK)
  • SPGMA (TN)
  • Lost River (OR)
  • Jekyll Island (GA)
  • Myrtle Beach (SC)
  • Delaware Valley (NJ)
  • Mammoth Lakes (CA)
  • Pemi Valley (NH)
  • Fly In (WV)
  • Shriners (KY)
  • Okeechobee (FL)
  • Blue Waters (WA)

  • Blythe (CA)
  • RockyGrass (CO)
  • Lighthouse (BC)
  • Pickin’ in the Pines (AZ)
  • Route 66 (CA)
  • MBOTMA (MN)
  • BMAI Honey Creek (IA)
  • Busy Bird (NY)
  • Anderson (SC)
  • Agri-County (AZ)
  • SamJam (OH)
  • Brantling (NY)
  • Mohican (OH)
  • Malpass Bros (NC)
  • IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass (NC)
  • Midwinter Bluegrass (CO)
  • Bristol Rhythm & Roots (VA/TN)
  • Pickin’ in Parsons (WV)
  • Palisade Bluegrass & Roots (CO)
  • Little Roy & Lizzy (GA)
  • Festival of the Bluegrass (KY)
  • Foxhole Pickin’ Party (NY)
  • Bluegrassin’ in the Foothills (CA)
  • Bluegrass on the Beach (AZ)
  • Durango Bluegrass Meltdown (CO)
  • Bluegrass at the Fair (CO)
  • Wharf Bluegrass Weekend (UK)
  • Yeehaw Music Festival (FL)
  • La Roche (France)

How It Works

The class needs to be supported with:

  • the use of a shaded spot with access to a.c. power, far enough from amplified stages, or at times of day, so as to make sound intrusion minimal
  • a mention and link from your festival’s website to the class’s page on WernickMethod.org (our page for the class will have a prominent link to your festival’s website; see these examples)
  • allowing “yard” signs advertising the class to be displayed in a few key locations
  • a listing of the class in any printed festival schedule or program
  • No personnel or ticket taking or other services are required of the festival.
  • No personnel, gear, or services are required of the festival other than providing a space for the class.

A festival can offer a Wernick Method jam class simply by getting connected with one of our certified teachers who agrees to offer a class. Please write office@letspick.org for more information.

All jam class attendees need to pay normal festival admission to be in the class.

The festival is not expected to pay the teachers, though comped festival admission is typical, and appreciated.

Your festival gets additional promotion through our class promotion at no cost.

  • The class webpage will link to the festival website. See these examples.
  • The festival website will also be linked in our email blasts advertising the class to the Wernick Method’s contacts in the area.
  • The festival will be listed on our Facebook events, as well our class postings on the Bluegrass Today, Facebook, and IBMA Foundation websites.

A small sampling of comments about our class:

“I have been waiting to start playing real bluegrass with people for quite a while, and now I can.”

“I feel like I’ve made jamming friends for life.”

“So much more fun than sitting on the couch playing alone.”

Value to the Festival and Attendees

Statistical data from 423 attendees of our festival classes:

Did you attend the festival to take the class?

  • The main reason: 20% (83)
  • A main reason: 41% (172)
  • Not a reason: 28% (119)
  • Heard at the festival: 12% (49)

Would the presence of the class be a factor in attending next year?

  • The main factor: 13% (52)
  • A main factor: 36% (150)
  • A small factor: 24% (97)
  • Not a factor: 27% (113)

In a survey of 256 former Wernick Method students:

  • 80% said their commitment to bluegrass has deepened since taking the class.
  • 51% (131 people) have bought an instrument since taking the class.

Before the class, 26% played music with others once or more per month.

  • Now 69% jam once or more per month, and half of those jam a few times a week!