The Ould Sod

3373 Adams Ave, San Diego, California, USA

Twenty-six comments

Session at the Ould Sod

Session starts at 7 PM, intermediate to advanced level. Seating only for 6-8 players max so plan on getting there early!

Still going strong!

600 sessions and still thriving!

Recently celebrated our 600th session, still going strong…

600th? wow, congrats. has it always been a once a week session?

Michael, George, Jonathan, Chris? Justin? others whose names I don’t recall, but whose playing I admired. Thank you all for being so welcoming to a visiting tyro fluter from Seattle. I had a great time, if brief. This session is clearly “Still going strong!”

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Ruarri and Pete as well last night… Great having you visit our little corner of the nation.

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I am coming to visit family in SD in May and hope to join your session while there, been involved in music for the past 30 years while living in Germany. See you soon

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Looking forward to your visit!

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In our 17th year there now…

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Still going strong as of July 2017. Also added Sunday sessions in the beer garden behind the pub on the first and third Sundays of the month until football season starts up again.

About the session at The Ould Sod

Fiddler George Rubsamen and I have been co-hosting the Tuesday night session at The Ould Sod here in San Diego since January of 2000. It’s a small dive-ish bar in the Normal Heights district a few miles north and east of downtown San Diego. We have about 20 or so local players who might show up on any night, with about 10 regulars, including George and I who come most weeks. The space we play in is quite small, we really only have seats for about 8 people so sometimes we swap out players, but occasionally, as happened last week, we had many guests and as many as 16 players, which was quite crowded. Fiddles seem to be in vogue right now, but in the past when Ben Power was living in San Diego, we’d have a lot of flute players as well. I generally play Uilleann pipes/whistle, concertina, and some B/C box. We have some “early” players, as Noel Hill would call them, who are just starting out, and we encourage them to come for the first hour of the session to play the tunes they know at their pace, and when the more experienced regulars show up around 8 or 9, they know to give up their seats and listen for the rest of the evening. It’s not a paid hosting, but the pub has always provided all of the musician’s drinks for free, a privilege we don’t abuse, and we generally give whatever tips we get from the patrons to the bartender. The music later in the evening is at a pretty high level, and for some unknown reason, jigs seem to dominate over reels in tune frequency compared to other sessions I co-host or regularly participate in. One down side is that because it’s a bar, you have to be 21 to even go inside, so we can’t include any younger players, which was possible at some of the other sessions that were at restaurant/bars in San Diego in the past. The session is every Tuesday from 7-11 PM, and we started doing a more relaxed session on the 1st and 3rd Sundays (until football season starts) in the covered part of the new beer garden they built last year behind the pub. Visitors are always welcome, just give me a heads-up that you’ll be in town and we’ll take very good care of you, give you a ride to/from the pub, setup house sessions, etc.

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Hi Michael
Will there be a session the Sunday of Labor Day weekend? Thanks!

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20 years and still going strong!

The back room sessions on Sunday afternoons were just a summer thing last year, the main session is on Tuesday nights from 7 - 11 PM

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The Tuesday night session is currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, but the pub has survived by partnering with the adjacent restaurants to have food service along with drinks in the large back patio.

We’re hoping for a restart of the session as before after California opens up all businesses on June 15th, 2021, assuming current vaccination rates stay high and hospitalization rates stay low. We’re encouraging all players to please get vaccinated.

I’ll update this page as soon as I hear any news.

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Some happy news!

Just got word from the owners of The Ould Sod Pub that we can restart our session there in mid-May beginning with a soft start of only 4 players for the first month, then more allowed after that.

We’re looking at Tuesday, May 18th as the first date for a restart of the session at the pub. Session will run 7:00 - 10:00 PM.

Since we’re limited to four players, we’re going to have to have essentially a closed session for the first month, with the session hopefully going back to an open session in mid-June.

I’ll post updates here as the situation evolves.

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The day has arrived! We’re restarting the session at The Ould Sod tonight, Tuesday, May 18th!

As I previously mentioned, we’ve been requested to limit the number of players to only 4 for the first few weeks, but hope to go back to the full open session format in mid-June at the latest. All the regulars, as far as I know, are fully vaccinated.

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Session is back to normal operation as of June 15th, 2021!

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Once again, as of Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021, we’ve decided to put the session at The Ould Sod temporarily on hold because of the local Delta variant situation.

Since the weather in the early evenings are quite nice now, we are going to be holding outdoor sessions on Tuesdays, and will be trying a few spots until we can restart at the pub when/if this Delta variant burns out.

Please send me a PM if you are coming to San Diego and looking for tunes. I can let you know about when and where we will be having our next outdoor session.

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As of August 4th, 2021, as a result of high levels of Delta variant spread in San Diego, we’ve temporarily relocated the session to the front patio of the House of Ireland in the Houses of Pacific Relations in the south end of Balboa Park. Session is from 6:00 - 8:00 PM on Tuesdays. Requesting vaccinated players only at this time. We’ll be here until the Delta variant situation calms down and we can move the session back indoors at the pub. I’ll be sure to post when we go back.

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Well, we’re back.

Going to try a test run for a month on Tuesday nights in the back room of the pub starting on Tuesday, October 19th at 7 PM.

Delta variant numbers are down quite a bit in San Diego and enough of the regulars have said they’d be willing to play in the larger back room to restart the pub session.

Requesting vaccinated players only at this time.

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OK, the last two weeks felt quite safe so as of 26 Oct 2021 we’ll be continuing to play in the big open back room of the pub every Tuesday starting at 7:00 PM. Still requesting that all players be vaccinated.

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Omicron has put a bit of a crimp in our style, but we’re still continuing to host the session in the back room. Hoping to be able to power through this surge and stay healthy. Players are encouraged to wear N95 style masks while moving through the smaller main pub, I’m wearing one at all times for the foreseeable future. Flutes and whistles probably not a good idea until we’re past this surge.

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Pretty much back to normal as of 3/15/22.

Still playing in the back room of the pub.

No issues with whistles or flutes. Mask wearing is up to the individual to decide. Still prefer vaccinated players, but with Omicron, that’s probably more about protecting the player themselves than the other players.

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As of 22 Nov 2022:

Now alternating between the front and back rooms of the pub:

1st, 3rd, 5th Tuesdays - Back room
2nd, 4th Tuesdays - Front room

The back room is huge and open with good ventilation for COVID risk reduction, but some players missed the pub “scene” so we now alternate between the front room and the back room.