Banjo Workshops?


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    Hey Brian,
    In one of your videos you mention that you want to eventually do building and playing workshops. I was curious if that was something that may be ruminating.

    Carver Banjos

    It’s still a long term goal for carverbanjos. I imagine having a large workshop and space for about 10 people for a long weekend retreat. I think it will be within the next 5 years. I’m not planning to stay where I currently live, so I don’t want to build a shop here. I’d like to find a property where I can make this happen, there are lots of things that will have to line up before then.
    I’d like to do a few “camps” throughout the summers, emphasizing different banjo constructions: gourd banjos, rim banjos, mountain banjos. I’d like to provide space to sleep/camp with option for hotels nearby. I’d like to provide meals and invite musician friends for entertainment in the evenings.
    I see all this being the final product of my life work with banjos. Finally making banjos in person and interacting with people face to face.
    I know Jeff Menzies hosts banjo building camps as well and I don’t want to copy or take anything away from his events and success. I make similar banjos to Jeff but I don’t see what we do as in competition in any way. I think we have some overlap in customers but mostly we reach different audiences.
    Kirby and others,
    What would you like to see from a banjo building workshop?
    What are reasonable price points for such events?
    How long does the typical person have to spend at an event like this?
    I’m located in central indiana, how many people are local enough to join?
    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks everyone


    Hey Brian, i am not the best reference, never done a building workshop before, but i have driven up to indiana for the Fiddlers Gathering and gone to Bonnaro (similar as a long weekend event):
    1. I’d love to be able to walk away with a complete banjo that i’ve, one that is slightly different from what I could buy in the kits, maybe even just aesthetically, would be cool. Maybe start earlier in the process, actually cut the wood pieces, might be cool, if not too much of a liability (or too likely I’d ruin a good piece of wood with my very little woodworking experience).
    Playing workshops could be a nice addition, too. Camping and playing with other musicians would be cool, although I’m a beginner.
    2. I have no frame of reference for price, but my wife said around $600, I thought closer to $800, especially if food is provided. I don’t know the costs of running one of these or if insurance costs would be required or paying musicians to come play…
    3. Three days? Maybe 4? Again, no frame of reference for a building workshop. The 9-5 jobs I’ve had allowed taking a couple days around a weekend without too much trouble.
    4. I have family in Monticello, IN near the Fiddlers Gathering and I think close to where you’ve said you’re located. I make it up there once or twice a year (7.5 hour drive from Tennessee). Would definitely be interested, if I could make it work.

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