What is NESI

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I’d like to sell my old concertina, tune books, whatever. How does that work?

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What is NESI?
The Northeast Squeeze-In is a weekend-long gathering of free-reed players, mostly from the northeastern USA, but also some who come from a much greater distance. It’s a relaxing retreat from daily life and a day-into-night opportunity to learn new tunes, improve your skills, share what you know, sing, dance, and play with an eclectic bunch of friendly musicians. It’s not a music festival with a paying audience. It’s not a formal instructional weekend, though there are lots of free-form workshops you can choose to attend. It’s just a lot of fun, run entirely by volunteers, and organized as a not-for-profit event by musicians like you.

The Squeeze-In typically goes like this . . .

Things start around the middle of Friday afternoon at 2:00pm as the first of us begin to arrive. On arrival, you’ll be given your room assignment, a site map, and other essential bits of information. Jamming starts almost as soon as the cars come to a halt. Most people have signed up for meals, and dinner is served in the dining room, augmented by wine or beer brought by participants. By Friday night, most of the participants are in attendance. There may be a pub-type sing somewhere, and lots and lots of players are squeezing out tunes in every available space.

After breakfast on Saturday morning, people begin drifting off to the workshops, and some sign up to perform in the concert. (See Activities below.) Lunch brings most of us together again, then off to more workshops and informal playing. After dinner, we march in a ragged procession to the performance space near the dining room while playing the designated processional tune, and the evening concert starts. Usually there is a contra dance after the concert, but that is yet to be resolved. If there is no dance, we’ll come up with an alternative. Some folks go off to play some more or join the pub sing instead, which also is subject to pandemic regulations. After the concert, there will be snacks for everyone, probably served in the concert room or registration room. Some folks find an indoor place to jam. Some stagger off to bed. This can be a very late night for the hardy types. Please make sure that your late-night activities are not taking place in a space where people are trying to sleep. There are lots of public spaces available throughout the night, although we must make all our noise indoors after 10 pm. More about Saturday Night

Sunday morning is for winding down, more workshops, and, of course, more jamming.  Enjoy the breakfast, consider that instrument purchase one more time, track down the person with the funny song from last night and get the words . . . and by noon you’re back in the dining room for the last meal of the weekend. Sometime later, the cars roll away and NESI has come to an end for another year. This is a glorious 3-day event which is at its best if you are there in residence for the whole thing.

Please also see What to Expect


What do I need to do?
Registration forms and instructions are here.

Can I pay by credit card?
You can use PayPal (preferred) or mail us a check. When we confirm your housing, we will also send a link to our PayPal account and provide the mailing address. Your place will not be held until we receive payment. Please complete your registration as soon as possible. You’ll be notified when your registration is complete.

Why is there a "early bird" discount period?
The event is entirely run by volunteers who have day jobs. The sooner we can get people signed up, the easier it is to do all of the behind-the-scenes paperwork and database management. We want to avoid a last minute avalanche. The discount is intended to motivate you to commit early.

Is admission to the event a separate charge?
No. Admission is included in each option: lodge, cabin, camping, and attending but staying off-site.

What if I register ahead and then am unable to come?
There is a cancellation and refund policy published on our registration page.

Please also see the Registration & Attendance Information Page


What workshops are offered?

This is a free-form gathering of players of all levels. People post workshop offerings on an event board located in the registration room off the north end of the dining hall.  People also post requests for things they hope someone else might agree to lead. Some “workshops” are really tune swaps, often focused on a particular genre, such as Morris tunes or Scandinavian waltzes.  Some are for specific instruments, such as Hayden duet concertinas. Sometimes there is a “slow jam” for people who are just learning the tunes or their instrument. If you have a request, you might want to post it on Si-Talk ahead of the weekend. There is usually one that is a rehearsal for the pick-up band that plays for Saturday night’s contra dance, and that may happen just for fun even if we don’t have a dance.

Do I have to go to the workshops?
Definitely not. Some people never go to any and just join in the many jam sessions that spring up in every available corner. This is a weekend for fun and camaraderie, and nothing is required except your presence.

I’m a first-timer. Can I offer a workshop?
Of course. All you have to do is post it on the Big Board in the registration room. Write a brief description on a post-it (provided on the table) and put it in an available location and time slot on the schedule on the bulletin board. You don’t necessarily need to be a teacher – you might just want to be a facilitator for something that interests you, such as an Irish tune seisiún. Post it, and they will probably come.

I’m a first-timer. There's something I'd like to learn; is there a workshop for that?
Maybe not, but if not you can post a request on the event board and likely one will occur or someone will offer to give you a one-on-one to help you.

I don’t play a free-reed instrument yet, but I’m interested in starting. Will there be anything for me to do?
Absolutely. First, you’ll be able to hear, see, and try out everything from big piano accordions down to a 20-key Anglo concertina. New and used instruments are offered for sale in the south room off the dining hall and attendees have a private sale table. You’ll be able to find people who will talk with you about what they play and why. You’ll hear all kinds of music being played on free-reed instruments and consider which ones seem to relate best to your own musical interests. You might be able to find a teacher who lives in your area. Some workshops are quite suitable for absolute beginners. This is an excellent way to take the first steps toward becoming a player. You can arrange for a rental instrument from the Button Box. Contact them ahead of time and work out the details.

I have an old free-reed instrument that needs to be fixed.  Is there someone there that can help?
Yes, see the Button Box shop, which will be located in one of the teaching yurts, or just ask around. You are not likely to get service on site, but instruments in need of serious work can be sent back with the Bbox folks.

My partner plays the fiddle (guitar, ocarina, nose flute, etc.) – can they take part?
For workshops, it would be good manners to ask the workshop leader. Generally, there will be no objection as long as your partner is aware that the activity is primarily for the free-reeders and is probably not the time to ask for advice on bowing technique. Finding a jamming session to join is often a better option. All instruments are welcome in those, and they happen just about continuously.

Should my non-playing partner/spouse come along?
If your partner likes music, there is a lot to listen to, and some non-players decide to take up an instrument after a weekend of free-reed saturation. There are lovely wooded trails for walking onsite.

Please also see the NESI Attendee Guide and PEEC Information Page

Housing & Site Rules

Note: You can find  PEEC housing information here from our PEEC webpage and the PEEC website which contains further photos of facility and descriptions of typical rooms in lodges and cabins, as well as a campus map.
  • There are 4 types of accommodation and a tenting area, identified by large red numbers shown on the campus map :
    #1SINGLE CABINS are little cottages for 2 people. Each has a private bath. There are 3 larger single cabins that could hold 3 by request.
    #2GROUP LODGES each have 2 large wings. Each wing sleeps up to 20 in a single bunkroom, but we will limit it to 4 except on request by a larger group. Group lodges are ideal for families/pods/groups. There is also a private room for 2 in each wing. Everyone in the wing shares a large bath/shower.
    #3DUPLEX CABINS are larger twin cottages for 2 or 3 people. Two people will be assigned unless we need the third bed or unless requested by a group of 3. Each has a private bath. There is a lockable connecting door between the 2 attached cabins that could be opened to create a family room or hold a larger pod/group by request.
    #4YURT VILLAGE has four small yurts that sleep 2.  The yurts share a separate large bathhouse.
    #5TENTING AREA is for campers. No RVs are allowed there. Wheeled vehicles need to park in spaces adjacent to the paved roads. Bathrooms/showers are available to campers at the back of the main building. It’s open 24/7, even when the rest of the main building is locked up.
  • Participants can park at or close to their housing. Almost all of the paths are paved. You can drive and park at or near almost all of the shared spaces, such as the teaching yurt that will serve as a lounge. There are many handicap parking places that are indicated by a blue “P” on the campus map. Please leave those places for cars with a display tag.
  • There is limited ADA-compliant housing available on request in all 4 accommodation types. We recommend registering as soon as possible.
  • NO FOOD is allowed in any housing. None. It attracts mice, and leftover bits could trigger an allergic response in the next occupant.
  • No one will be assigned housing that requires them to occupy a top bunk. Not all beds are bunk beds.
  • Participants must provide their own bed linens, towels, and pillows. We recommend bringing a sheet to cover the mattress and a light sleeping bag, but that’s up to you. Some beds are full and some are camp-type singles. Bring bed linens that will fit a full (double) bed in order to be sure.
  • This was a honeymoon destination in the 1950s. A few cabins still have a boarded-up fireplace and a tiled sunken bath. Those baths are for showers only; the tile cannot withstand a deep soak. Sorry!
I’m coming alone. Do I still need to share my room?

All prices for accommodation (except camping) are based on 2 - 4 people per room, depending on what you choose. If you know that there is someone else coming that you would like to have for a roommate, note it on your registration form. Otherwise, we’ll set it up, and you’ll have a chance to make a new friend.

Can I bring my RV?
You can locate it in any of the parking areas adjacent to the paved road (paying the same registration fee as for camping), but there are no hookups. NO vehicles – including a car you intend to sleep in – can be parked in the tenting area, but you can park on the paved roads.

Can I bring my pet?
Sorry, but the answer is no. Dogs are not permitted inside any of the buildings at PEEC, and that includes the housing.  There are local boarding kennels if you want to bring your dog along for the ride – check the internet for possibilities.

Can I bring fireworks and things that go bang?
You also can’t bring fireworks, firearms, air rifles, tactical nukes or weapons of mass destruction (other than free-reed instruments).

Please also see the PEEC Information Page


Do I have to sign up for meals?
Except for camping, the rates for accommodation include all meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch (six meals in all). Campers have the option of signing up for meals or fending for themselves. If you don’t want to stay on-site, there are two options. There is a three-day full-event package that includes all six meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch and one that offers admission for the 3 days but includes no meals (Day Tripper). Please note: You must pre-register for meals; we can’t accept meal sign-ups at the event.
I’m allergic to [peanuts, strawberries, shellfish, etc.]. Will I be able to eat the meals?
There is a wide variety of food served at each meal: salads, fresh fruit, bread, and vegetarian/vegan entrees as well as ones for carnivores. Most people can find plenty to enjoy. Note any food allergies or other serious dietary restrictions on your registration form and we will alert the kitchen staff. If we think we can’t meet your dietary needs, we’ll let you know.

I’m planning to camp and cook for myself. Can I buy a meal there if I change my mind?
Sorry! The food is ordered and planned well in advance. You need to make your food decision when you register.

Can I put my food in a refrigerator and/or get ice for my cooler from the kitchen?
There is a small refrigerator in the teaching yurt that is a lounge. There is also a full-size refrigerator in classroom #3 in the admin building. Please make sure your name is on anything you put into any refrigerator. There is an ice machine in the dining room. However, you can get ice only at mealtimes because it is behind the serving line and only kitchen staff can access it. The same is true for the dining hall refrigerator. If you store things there, the kitchen staff has to put it in and retrieve it, which can happen only at mealtimes. Although the dining room will be open until 10, the kitchen staff will leave when mealtime ends.

Private Sales

I’d like to sell my old concertina, tune books, brother-in-law, whatever. How does that work?
There will be one or more tables set up at the back of the dining room for private sales. You place your item on the table with a description, selling price, and contact information. Some people who are selling such things as CDs and tunebooks choose to put a box out for payment on the honor system. We can’t be responsible for things that disappear, but nothing has vanished yet, as far as we know.


Is there any internet service available?
There is free Wi-Fi available in the dining room and generally around the campus. There are no wired connections that we can use. We make no guarantees, and the organizers will be more interested in music and libations than messing around trying to improve the connection or bandwidth.
What about television?

What about telephones?
There are no telephones in any of the rooms. Cell phones generally work there, but it is mountainous, so we can’t promise yours will work.