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I am the General Chairman (and Benevolent Dictator for life) of the NEW ENGLAND AMATEUR RADIO FESTIVAL (NEAR-Fest) which is the largest gathering of radio enthusiasts in the Northeastern US and Eastern Canada. Our twenty-third event will be held on May 4th and 5th 2018.  The Fall dates are October 12th and 13th, 2018.

My co-conspirators in this endeavour are: da Timtron, WA1HLR; Mike, K1TWF; Paul, W1PRA; Larry N1PHV, Gregg W1USA, Gary W2INR; Todd, KA1KAQ; and John KB1FQG (now N1JAF).  When asked by videographer Burt, K1OIK, what he thought about the management of NEAR-Fest, Timtron, WA1HLR, replied: "The inmates are running the asylum now!"

Lineup at NEAR-Fest I

NEAR-Fest is not a club but a very loosely organized group of old ham radio pals who enjoy getting together every May and October to take over the beautiful Deerfield NH Fairgrounds and host a  "good old-fashioned" New England regional hamfest that has been best described as a "Benevolent Dictatorship". It is our goal to make the NEAR-Fest as much like some of our old favorites 'festers of years past; Hosstraders, FAR-Fest (Gathersburg MD), RaRa (Rochester NY), etc, which are all but only wonderful memories today. In reality it is a big party for about 3000 of our closest friends. Bob Callahan, W1QWT once described NEAR-Fest as "The Woodstock of Amateur Radio". Get the picture?

We are "Old School" radio amateur radio operators but ALL radio enthusiasts are welcome. Our motto: "Real Hams Need Hamfests!".

NEAR-Fest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax exempt public charity.  Profits from the 'fester are directed towards attracting newcomers to our Hobby with a special emphasis on young people. Towards this end, in conjunction with the Contoocook Valley Radio Club (CVRC) of Hopkinton NH we constructed a complete amateur station, KA1SKY, capable of HF, VHF, UHF and satellite communications.to the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord NH.


We are currently conducting a test to see if digital VHF and UHF radios will be of interest to young people because they rely heavily on the Internet to achieve world-wide communications by linking repeaters and reflectors together. As of December 2013 two such stations have been placed and a third scheduled to go on the air in the fall of 2014.  We also support the New England Digital Emergency Network (www.nedecn.org) who are building the incredible DMR MotoTRBO network in New England.

In addition to attracting new amateur radio operators NEAR-Fest raised over $3,500.00 for the ONE FUND BOSTON in May 2013 to assist victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. We have also supported the Simadi Shriners who help us with ticketing and gate management. Every penny donated goes to Shriners' hospitals in Springfield MA, Montreal Canada and the Burns Unit in Boston. In 2013 we established three scholarships in Northern New England at the New Hampshire Technical Institute, Vermont Technical College and Kennebec Valley Community College (ME) with more to come.  NEAR-Fest is also proud to be a WRTC2014 sponsor as well as a contributor to the ARRL Spectrum Defense Fund.  The NEAR-Fest Memorial $1,500 Scholarship will be awarded theough the ARRL Foundation annually starting in 2018.

Despite the incredible amount of work that goes into producing this event, as you can see, we do manage to have a lot of fun!

NEAR-Fest XXIII Will be held on May 4th and 5th, 2018.  NEAR-Fest XXIV is scheduled for October 12th and 13th, 2018.  We welcome all radio enthusiasts, whether they be short-wave listeners, amateur radio operators, scanner buffs, vintage/antique radio collectors. The majority of our attendees come from the Northeastern US and Eastern Canada but some come from as far away as Europe, Flori-duh and even California.

Please visit our Web site for full details - http://www.near-fest.com or, you may prefer our interactive Online Forum - http://www.forum.near-fest.com .


"Mister Mike" W1RC, & Friends.

and now..................The NEAR-Fest Videos.....................

THE LATEST VIDEO!  NEAR-Vest XV convened May 2nd and 3rd 2014


NEAR-Fest XIV held October 11th and 12th 2013!!!!

"Original" version:  http://youtu.be/GTI7fmogoXA

"Revised" version:  http://youtu.be/euIN8rPFpP4

NEAR-Fest XIII Celebrated May 3rd and 4th 2013:


NEAR-Fest XII Convened October 12th and 13th 2012

Part I:  http://youtu.be/aTaUmlCMWi8

Part II: http://youtu.be/55Na7s-1YP0

NEAR-Fest XI, Held May 4th and 5th 2012

Part I: http://youtu.be/WPcwV8YD-ic

Part II: http://youtu.be/YMQtiI0SvX4

NEAR-Fest X Assembled October 14th and 15th 2011:

Part I: http://youtu.be/828lwRsX_kw
Part II: http://youtu.be/9BiY6P7djjM

NEAR-Fest IX, Gathered April 29th and 30th 2011


NEAR-Fest VIII, Convened October 15th and 16th 2010:


NEAR-Fest VII, Held April 20th and May 1st 2010:

Part I: http://youtu.be/lWvT7TO60c8

Part II: http://youtu.be/cqA9WDQ2xPU

NEAR-Fest VI, Convened October 16th and 17th 2009:

Part I: http://youtu.be/nHH3JsoDcqk

Part II: http://youtu.be/NeffLx7uRPM

Part III: http://youtu.be/sz0XFptw59Y

NEAR-Fest V, Convened May 1st and 2nd 2009:

Part I: http://youtu.be/v-UmCotMZfo

Part II: http://youtu.be/pAD-cn0_P48

NEAR-Fest IV, Held October 10th and 11th 2008:

Part I: http://youtu.be/CVDqObiAJqk

PartII: http://youtu.be/KCpUfAwxRc8

8553496 Last modified: 2018-01-02 13:22:57, 13304 bytes

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