HarmonicaUK is proud to announce the lineup and details of our October festival 2024

The event is being held from 25th-27th of October and will be held at Hillscourt Hotel in Birmingham.
Booking now live - details are at the bottom of this page!

Promo Video

We commence with our annual AGM at 7 pm on the Friday followed by a jam supported by a line up of seasoned musicians, led by Chris Collis  on keyboards , Chris will also be providing accompaniment to some of the main artists as well as providing backing for any members who require it in the Sunday afternoon concert.  

Saturday and Sunday will be filled with all the fun and opportunities you’ve come to expect with the festival, masterclass workshops by the featured artists and other workshop leaders for all levels of players in many different genres of music.

As well as our featured artists we have our very own in-house workshop leaders, Adam Glasser, a HarmonicaUK Patron, will be teaching the excellent and extremely popular ensemble workshops this year, a chance for all instruments to play together!

We also have local harmonica favourite Ricky Cool teaching another series of workshops during the weekend.

Not forgetting festival regular John Cook who will be showing us all how to look after our instruments in a maintenance workshop.

Our amateur harmonica competition will once again be by video submissions sent in prior to the event like last years festival and will be adjudicated by David Bier. For full details of the competition and how to enter visit:

HarmonicaUK Festival Competition

Competition winners will be announced on Saturday and we will also have an auction with some excellent harmonica goodies donated by our trade stand exhibitors and other Harmonica equipment manufacturers. There will be trade stands from leading Harmonica and accessory retailers  .

A spectacular concert by the main artists is on Saturday evening and don’t forget the concert on Sunday afternoon where attendees get to play on stage and show us what they've got! Your chance to be in the spotlight in a professional stage setting. 

Please note:

  • Places are limited and subject to availability so don’t delay, see below for further details, prices and how to book.
  • We have block booked Hillscourt for this event, and you will not be able to book accommodation directly with the hotel. 
  • Accommodation will be booked on a first come first serve basis and once the primary venue is full, people will have to source their own accommodation.
  • This event will require attendees to wear wristbands to indicate their level of access, including the Saturday evening meal.
  • Bar meals will not be available on the Saturday evening if you choose not to purchase the Saturday evening meal option.

Featured Artists

Katie Bradley

Katie Bradley gained recognition with her 2012 iTunes Blues hit “I Hear the River,” earning her a nomination for Best Original Song in the British Blues Awards from her debut album “She’s Ready.” Katie's career quickly gained momentum and led to invitations to support and  collaborate with artists such as Luther Allison, Suzanne Vega, Mud Morganfield, Lucky Peterson, Kirk Fletcher and many more. In 2014 Katie was endorsed by harmonica maker Anthony Dannecker, who built a harmonica to suit her unique melodic style. 

Katie has been singing the Blues from a young age; brought up on the Blues records of Muddy Waters, Lead belly, Big Bill Broonzy T Bone Walker years were spent in record shops seeking out albums from the Mississippi Delta to Chicago streets. It only took a few phrases of Junior Well's Blues harp for her to fall under the spell of the harmonica masters.  

Katie is now world renowned for her Blues vocal tone and her melodious accompaniment on harmonica she continues to garner multiple nominations and awards, championed by none other than Paul Jones, with an invitation to BBC Maidavale to perform a live session for his Blues show.


Filip Jers

Filip Jers is one of the world’s most prominent harmonica players, and is well-known in Sweden’s musical spheres. His approach to playing the harmonica is unique in its artistry and tone, filled with emotion and playfulness. His musical palette is lyrical, colorful and full of contrasts. As the first harmonica player ever to graduate from Stockholm’s Royal Academy of Music, he has played in more than 30 countries worldwide. In 2005 Jers became double world champion at the Harmonica Festival in Trossingen, Germany. He has also studied privately with Toots Thielemans, Howard Levy and Robert Bonfiglio.

Jers has been featured on more than 70 albums as a recording artist, playing harmonica. Besides playing concerts Jers has extensive experience as a harmonica teacher, teaching privately and giving workshops in different countries all over the world. He is also engaged as harmonica teacher at music conservatories in Scandinavia. He runs his own online harmonica club on website Patreon, called “Filip Jers Harmonica”, where he has around one hundred members from all over the world.

Filip Jers is an "International Suzuki Harmonica Artist", endorsing and playing harmonicas made by Suzuki Harmonicas from Japan.


Will Wilde

Will Wilde has taken the harmonica way beyond its traditional blues roots since he first emerged on the music scene in 2010.  Always pushing forward, evolving and redefining his sound, he gained popularity on Youtube with his awe-inspiring harmonica covers of classic rock guitar solos such as Lynyrd Skynyrd's Free Bird.  Wilde picked up his first harmonica at a house party when he was sixteen; from then on playing became an obsession. Throughout 2022/23 Wilde has been touring with his hard rock band Bad Luck Friday.  2024 sees him return to blues rock, with the release of a new solo album, Wilde Blues. 

Wilde’s hard-edged harmonica steals the spotlight from the traditional blues rock guitar, with a sound that owes as much to Gary Moore as it does to Sonny Boy Williamson. "I’m always looking to make new sounds with the harmonica, pushing its boundaries, trying to change people’s perception of it.”  In fact Wilde has gone one step further and created his own signature harmonica tunings so he can play licks that weren’t possible before. 

Wilde has released four studio albums and one live album: Unleashed (2010), Raw Blues (2013), Live In Hamburg (2015), Bring It On Home (2018) and Bad Luck Friday (2022), as well as appearing as a guest harmonica player on albums by Walter Trout, Earl Thomas, Toby Lee, Dani Wilde, Marcus Malone, Krissy Matthews and Brave Rival. His early music reflects more of a traditional Chicago blues sound, but over time he has developed a more aggressive style that draws from the rock/ blues rock music he grew up on.  He has recently been nominated in the UK Blues Awards for "Instrumentalist of the Year 2024"   


Sean Spicer

Sean Spicer is a chromatic, diatonic and tremolo player from Bristol, England, and his repertoire focuses on English and Irish traditional music, from baroque-era tunes to modern standards. Having been inspired by finding a copy of Brendan Power's New Irish Harmonica, and the expert tutelage of Aidan Sheehan, Sean now takes inspiration from archival recordings of players across the British Isles, notably Will Atkinson and the West Country’s own Jim Small, drawing heavily on the invaluable archive set up by Roger Trobridge. Along with tunes borrowed from existing recorded repertoire, Sean enjoys taking tunes from 18th and 19th century manuscripts, and reimagining them in a contemporary context. 

Sean has the distinction of being the only ever harmonicist for the National Youth Folk Ensemble from 2018-19, and also became Comhaltas All-Britain Mouth Organ and Miscellaneous (on chromatic harp) Champion in 2022, performing in the All-Ireland finals. Most recently, he took first place in HarmonicaUK's folk and melodic category.

Sean also plays blues and classical harmonica, becoming the first ever harmonica soloist with Sheffield University Symphony Orchestra in 2023. He pioneered the harmonica with the University's New Music Ensemble, both writing and performing chamber pieces with
harmonica parts. Spotting that the London College for Music didn't include harmonica in their Traditional Irish Music examinations and requesting its inclusion, he now has a Level 8 Merit in Harmonica performance. Since then he has started gigging, notably at Sidmouth Festival and Twickfolk, chiefly on harmonica but also showcasing his accomplished Irish flute and tin whistle playing. He is currently teaching Irish traditional music to the New Hibernia group in Bristol.

Workshop Leaders

Adam Glasser

South African  harmonica player, pianist and educator Adam Glasser is a first call  session  chromatic harmonica player and international reknown performer who has worked with Sting,  Eurythmics, Incognito, Jimmy Witherspoon, Martha Reeves, Hugh Masekela, Abdullah Ibrahim and  played on many film sessions including Paramount Feature film 'Hard Rain' sharing the harmonica credits with Toots Thielemans

Orchestral performances: include WNO (Kurtag’s ‘Quasi Una Fantasia’ ),  London Symphony Orchestra ( under Vladimir Jurowski) Royal Northern Sinfonia (John Barry film music). Theatre productions include Midsummer Night’s Dream( Shakespeare’s Globe ) and His Girl Friday, Scenes from the Big Picture  (National Theatre). Orchestral tour  live screenings of the ‘Italian Job’. 

Adam has played harmonica on BBC TV The Voice and performed a special Tribute to Toots Thielemans with Antonio Serrano and Jens Bunge at the 2017 Hohner World Championships in Trossingen.

In 2022 Adam was guest lecturer and performer at the International Conference in Belgium to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Toots Thielemans birth and performed at the Brussels Festival with Toots Thielemans pianist Mike Del Ferro.

His albums  'Free at First' (2010 South African Musica Award Best Modern Jazz Album) and 'Mzansi' (nominated  2012 SAMA Best Jazz Album). His third album 'Adam Glasser: SA & Beyond' is due out in 2024. Adam is hugely experienced as an educator ( jazz piano, harmonica and arranging). 


Ricky Cool

Ricky Cool has been fronting and performing in bands since the mid 1970’s and is associated with some of the finest roots based music to come out of the West Midlands. He is renowned as a highly entertaining front man and one of the UK’s top exponents of Blues and Country style harmonica.

Many remember Ricky Cool fronting one of Birmingham’s most popular bands, the legendary Ricky Cool and the Icebergs. He also formed The Big Town Playboys, and helped nurture the talent of Mike Sanchez. Ricky has toured with Billy Connolly, shared the stage with George Harrison and played shows with Robert Plant, The Kinks and Dire Straits to name but a few.

He has built up a social media presence with his harmonica lesson andpractice tip videos as well as breakdowns of famous harmonica motifs, licks and solos. His Mississippi Saxophone series of YouTube videos have garnered a lot of praise and have helped many players broaden their blues technique. He is an ‘on line’ and ‘in person’ diatonic harmonica teacher.

His current Band -Ricky Cool and the In Crowd serve up a gorgeous musical gumbo, similar to the sounds heard in the clubs of Soho in the early years of Mod mania. Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Ska and Bluebeat, as well as Afro Cuban rhythms, delivered in the Band’s own inimitable style. Original numbers interspersed with Band arrangements of classics, create a musical mix that always fills the dance floor.


John Cook

John Cook will be making a welcome return to the harmonica festival in 2024 with a workshop specifically designed for  Diatonic players to optimise their harmonica. He will be covering embossing, tuning, gapping, and setting up for overblows.  John has been repairing harmonicas for over 20 years. He is the official repairer in the UK for Hohner, Seydel, Suzuki and Easttop. A leading figure on the world stage of harmonica repairs, anyone that has attended one of Johns workshop in the past will know you are guaranteed to be both informed and entertained in equal measure.

Ensemble Performance with Adam Glasser

HarmonicaUK Patron Adam Glasser is leading the Ensemble Performance for the festival this year. He is writing  an original piece of music entitled ‘Single Notes’  for multiple players of different levels playing single note melodies and riffs with the following features:

  • Choose a part that suits your level of skill and experience
  • Memorise your part in advance (there will be links to Youtube audio and video and TAB Staff Notation).
  • Once you are signed up for the Festival email Adam at [email protected] for a questionnaire about your skill level and musical style preferred
  • The piece will reflect as much as possible the musical tastes of those who have signed up to attend. The sooner you commit and contact me the more likely your preference can be taken into account in the composition process.
  • You will need a  Chromatic in C, any Diatonic in C with Solo Tuning (eg Hohner Speedy, Hohner Melody Star), any Richter Tuned Blues harmonica in C (those on diatonic Harmonicas in C will play single notes only on holes 4 - 7 )

Note, except if you are playing one of the solo challenging parts, there will be no written music for the final performance. You will be expected to choose a part that you can memorise by heart comfortably before the Festival. 

If you are certain to attend the Festival please register your interest with Adam soonest: [email protected]

Book your place!


Weekend Player

£165 - full weekend access, including workshops, concert, refreshments and lunch both days (note: excludes Saturday evening meal)

H2024 - Weekend Player Fee

Saturday Player

£95 - Saturday only player fee including workshops, concert, refreshments and lunch (note: excludes Saturday evening meal)

H2024 – Saturday only Player Fee includes concert

Sunday Player

£72.50 - Sunday only player fee including workshops, refreshments and lunch

H2024 – Sunday only Player Fee

Saturday Evening Meal

£27 - Saturday evening meal (note: no bar meals available onsite on the Saturday evening)

H2024 - Saturday, two course evening meal

Non Playing Partner Refreshments  - One Day

£42.50 - Refreshment charge for accompanying non-player partner/carer for either Saturday or Sunday (includes refreshments and lunch)

1 Day Non Player Refreshments and Lunch

Non Playing Partner Refreshments  - Two Days

£85 - Refreshment charge for accompanying non-player partner/carer for both Saturday and Sunday (includes refreshments and lunch)

2 Days Non Player Refreshments and Lunch

Single Room Friday

£72.50 - Single room for Friday night, including breakfast

Friday - Single Room, includes Full English breakfast
** SOLD OUT **

Single Room Saturday

£72.50 - Single room for Saturday night, including breakfast

Saturday - Single Room, includes Full English breakfast
** SOLD OUT **

Single Room Sunday 

£72.50 - Single room for Sunday night, including breakfast

Sunday - Single Room, includes Full English breakfast
** SOLD OUT **

Double Room Friday

£105 - Double/twin room for Friday night, including breakfast

Friday - Double Room, includes Full English breakfast
** SOLD OUT **

Double Room Saturday

£105 - Double/twin room for Saturday night, including breakfast

Saturday - Double Room, includes Full English breakfast
** SOLD OUT **

Double Room Sunday

£105 - Double/twin room for Sunday night, including breakfast

Sunday - Double Room, includes Full English breakfast
** SOLD OUT **

Saturday Evening Concert Only

£22.50 - Saturday evening concert only
(no access to workshops or refreshments)

Saturday Evening Concert only

Bursary form available below - Please return the form 4 weeks prior to the event

Bursary Application Form
HarmonicaUK - Registered Charity no. 1131484 (England & Wales)
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