Bluegrass Today at World of Bluegrass 2018

Well it’s that time of year again. A sizable plurality of the bluegrass community is wending its way towards Raleigh, NC for the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass convention. Over the next 5 days, starting tomorrow, artists, labels, management, event producers, talent buyers, academics, students, media, radio programmers, writers, and fans will assemble at the Raleigh Convention Center for an intensive 3-day business conference, followed by a gala awards show Thursday night, and two days of bluegrass in the open air in downtown Raleigh.

For those who have never been, World of Bluegrass is every bit as much of a whirlwind as it sounds. There is no hope of taking it all in, so you have to pick from among the many simultaneous seminars, shows, and opportunities on offer, and see, hear, and attend what you can. The IBMA does a great job designing what they describe as “tracks,” which try to avoid scheduling events that conflict within these groupings, such as a talent buyers track, a radio track, a legal track, or a songwriters track. If your interests align with one of these tracks, you can follow along and optimize your time accordingly.

Some folks come to stargaze and enjoy the wealth of quality music, but the largest percentage of attendees are there to work. Sure, there’s plenty of time for fun and fraternization, but if you come with some specific objectives, this week can be make-or-break for a young band, an emerging label, or an up-and-coming festival.

Bluegrass Today will be on hand, as usual, with several staff members among the throng. Photographer Frank Baker will be roaming through the activities of the week, chronicling the many aspects of the business of bluegrass. David Morris and myself will do our best to describe the various goings on, and sharing any news that breaks during the convention or festival.

We will be set up in the IBMA media room, located on the opposite side of the convention center from the seminars and concerts. Entering from the McDowell Street  doors (near Sir Walter), turn left inside the center, and then right past the stairway. The media room is along the Cabarrus Street side of the center, room 302B.

Please stop in and say howdy, or if you have new music to drop off, or some news to share. We try to get out and see as many performances as possible, so we may see you out and about as well.

We’ll be traveling during the day, so will be temporarily out of pocket, but look forward to seeing everybody soon in Raleigh!

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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.