Advice for non-US bands at IBMA

Hannah and Sophia Johnson of Toy Hearts with Del McCoury at IBMA 2008Richard Hawkins, who is involved in the publication of both the Bluegrass Ireland Blog and the European Bluegrass Blog, dropped us a note about a piece he recently cross-posted on both of those sites.

The post contains advice for non-US bands who would like to have a presence at the annual IBMA World Of Bluegrass convention.

As Richard tells us…

“It takes the form of a report prepared by Hannah Johnson of the Toy Hearts band (UK), which makes full use of the IBMA’s own published recommendations, and, just as importantly, of the Toy Hearts’ own experience in WOB 2008. The EBB and BIB posts have a link to the full text of the report, a copy of which is attached to this e-mail.

As the deadline for applications for official showcases is now less than a month away, I hope Bluegrass Today can give it some publicity – it’s sound advice, and Hannah’s work deserves to be widely known.”

We agree. It is a major undertaking for a band to make the trip to IBMA from Europe, and with the substantial costs involved, it is crucial that any band seeking to do so have clear goals and do the requisite planning to take best advantage of the experience.

Here’s how Hannah begins her report:

The Toy Hearts performing at IBMA 2008 - Stewart Johnson, Hannah Johnson, Sophia Johnson“My name is Hannah Johnson and I sing and play in The Toy Hearts bluegrass band from Birmingham, UK. This year our band performed at some ‚ÄòAfter Hours Showcases’ at IBMA and attended the International Summit Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. During the Summit many salient points were raised, including the discussion of promoting and witnessing a larger International representation at IBMA World of Bluegrass in the future. After organising our band’s trip in 2008 and having learned about applying for showcase slots, I volunteered to write a statement advising how bands can best go about making similar approaches. Performing at IBMA really was an amazing experience and provided a truly unique opportunity for networking and making contacts. For any International bluegrass band considering applying‚Ķ DO! You may not get much sleep, but you will have the time of your life!”

Her report can be downloaded in full as a Word document 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.