We have grown steadily since our first edition in 2006 and our goal remains to be the most important bluegrass event in Europe.
These slideshows, grouped into series of 5 years, give you a year by year account from our humble beginnings to the present day festival, the largest all Bluegrass festival in Europe with 3 nominations for the prestigious IBMA award "Event of the Year" in 2012, 2015 and 2016.
La Roche Bluegrass Festival
a pictorial history in slideshows
2016 - ...
2016 For the first time ever we had to evacuate the site because a big storm came through on Thursday. The weather improved and the following three days were as close to perfect as you can get. Front Country from California headlined alongside the power duo Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley. Rapidgrass from Colorado ran the workshop and performed two great sets. The Lunchtime sessions came into their own as big crowds gathered to see Front Country and Rapidgrass share the stage with 6 up-and-coming European bands. Rawhide (Bel) headlined for Europe. G-runs'n Roses (Cz) won the contest.
2017 Great weather all weekend - just some fine rain for a few minutes on Saturday afternoon to cool us down. Jeff Scroggins & Colorado headlined and were a great discovery for most festival goers - they blew everyone away. Great sophisticated new grass music from The Peregrines, another rocking set by Rapidgrass and a set full of invention and emotion from 10 String Symphony completed the USA headline acts. The innovation this year was the Fringe Festival with a set on the steps of the Mairie by Songs of the Fall, 10 String Symphony and High Plains Jamboree. From Europe, we had a tie in the contest for the first time between Le Chat Mort (SWE) and Pine Marten (IRE). European headliners included French singing icon Mary Reynaud, contest holders G-runs n Roses (CZE) and the legendary Druha Trava (CZE), playing La Roche for the first time.
2011 - 2015
2011 Headliners Kathy Kallick Band from San Francisco put on a wonderful display as we broke all records in terms of numbers. The weather was perfect and even when the storm came G-runs 'n Roses did a perfect job on stage. The Sunday fireworks to the sound of Bluegrass music was magnificent. Blackjack won the contest - another Czech band!
2012 Headliners Ronnie Bowman and Bearfoot blew our audience away. Hickory Project did another great job at the camp and on stage. Belgian band Sons of Navarone won the band contest. French band Turquoise headlined (at last!). Once again a big storm forced us into the gymnasium for the last two bands.
2013 one of Bluegrass's hottest bands of the moment Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen headlined and ran the workshop. It was a hugely successful event. Oh My Darling brought a wonderful set of old timey grass from Canada. From Europe G2 (Sweden) headlined with Sons of Navarone (Belgium). East West won the band contest. The weather stayed sunny and hot all weekend with no sign of a summer storm!
2014 We were so excited to welcome top US band Blue Highway for their first visit to France as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations - and they didn't disappoint the hardy souls who stayed through the rain to watch. Hickory Project put on their Grateful Dead set under the band name Garcia Grass and we welcomed our first Australian Kristy Cox. The Jumber Cables (CZE) won the contest. Springfield (3rd) were the first French band to make the podium. Special mention for Ireland's Rackhouse Pilfer who rocked us out on Friday evening
2015 A special year for us to mark our 10th festival. There was no contest but all 9 contest winners came back to play as well as some of our "Committee's Choice" bands. Other friends came back from the USA with Hickory Project once again leading the workshop. Kim Fox brought brother Joel and sister Erin over to play with Dale Ann Bradley and Phil Leadbetter. Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen gave an electrifying performance and Lonesome River Band headlined for us.
Friday July 31 was a "BLUE MOON" (second full moon of the month) so we celebrated it well with special tee shirts and all bands singing Bill Monroe's Blue Moon of ... erm ... La Roche!
2006 - 2010
2006 The Original "EWOB" was held in La Roche sur Foron for the first time thanks to Dennis Schut, chair of EWOB association. Italian band Bluegrass Stuff won the contest. We had quite a bit of rain but 21 bands and enough people came to enourage us to continue.
2007 3 days of glorious sunshine and our frist special guests from the US, The Hickory Project, helped make it a memorable event. Kralik's Rowdy Rascals from the Czech Republic won the contest.
2008 Some rain on Friday but Thursday and the weekend were wonderful. US guests Three Fox Drive made it a great event with a fine finale from Mideando String Quintet (Italy). Czech band Monogram won the contest.
2009 A great weekend with fine weather. Carrie Hassler and Hard Rain lit up the Friday evening. For the first time we had three US act with Chris and Sally Jones Band and with Bob Jones, ably supported by Italian band the Bluegrass Cats. Acousticure (H) and Vodopad (Sk) were our European guests. The Czech domination continued with Kreni winning the contest.
2010 Another wonderful festival with "supergroup" The Bluebillies headlining (Dale Ann Bradley, Alan Bibey, Steve Gulley, Kim and Joel Fox). Hickory Project were also back to run the workshop and legednary European band Red Wine from Italy performed. Big storm on Sunday forced us to finish in the gymnasium. G-runs 'n Roses (Cz) won the contest.