2019 applications open for IBMA Bluegrass Ramble showcases

It may be only January, but plans and schemes are already being laid for the 2019 World of Bluegrass convention, hosted by the International Bluegrass Music Association in Raleigh, NC in late September.

Artists interested in showcasing at this industry-wide event can now submit applications to participate in the Bluegrass Ramble. Each year roughly 30 acts are invited to be presented to the assembled membership of the IBMA, which includes important event producers, record labels, management companies, and a variety of decision makers in all aspects of the industry.

Each selected artist is guaranteed at least two slots to perform live during the convention, once at the main site, the Raleigh Convention Center, and the other at one of the several downtown venues who participate in the event. It is the premier opportunity to show yourselves to the bluegrass and associated acoustic music world each year. Bluegrass Ramble invitees are chosen in a competitive and highly-selective process.

There is an application fee of $25 to submit, and an addition fee of $500 for selected acts, but the benefits that come with an invitation are many.

  • Full conference registration package for performing members of group (value $1000+)
  • Priority access to “Gig Fair” appointments
  • Complimentary booth space during business conference (value $700+)
  • One organizational membership for group (value $205)
  • Featured promotion on IBMA channels throughout the summer, ahead of the events
  • Featured profile in conference program, WOB app, and printed Bluegrass Ramble schedules
  • Inclusion of one mp3 on the 2019 Bluegrass Ramble mixtape via Noisetrade, available for free and promoted to DJs and talent buyers pre-event.
  • Inclusion in the Bluegrass Ramble Spotify playlist, promoted to DJs and talent buyers pre-event.

Artists invited are responsible for their own transportation and accommodation costs while in Raleigh.

An online application is provided on the IBMA web site, and only those received by February 28 will be considered. To properly process an application, the following are required:

  • Name, email, and role (i.e. banjo, fiddle) of each member of the applying act
  • One studio recorded song (mp3 format only, an optional second recording may be submitted as well)
  • One Hi-Res artist photo
  • An artist bio with artist location, names/roles of band members (if known at time of application), description of the artist’s sound, and note of any recently released recordings
  • A stage plot, indicating locations of instruments, instrument mics, vocal mics, and any other equipment (i.e. amp, pre-amp)
  • Credit card for application fee

You do not need to be an IBMA member to apply, and priority is given to acts whose professionalism and career arc suggests that they are prepared to take the next big step in their business life. Non-US artists are also encouraged to apply, but must be eligible to travel and be admitted to the US.

Invitations will be issued by April 15, including a number of alternates should invited acts be unable to attend.

Full details can be found online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.