Like the rest of bluegrass world, we are wending our way towards Raleigh, NC today, from various points north and west. This is the biggest week in our business, when the entire industry congregates for the World of Bluegrass convention, hosted by the International Bluegrass Music Association.
The event, which runs from tomorrow (9/24) through the weekend, consists of three parts. Starting on Tuesday, IBMA invites bluegrass professionals to a three-day business conference and trade show, with a jam-packed schedule of meetings, seminars, workshops, and addresses to assist bluegrass pros increase their exposure, present their music or festival, and increase their revenue. Mixed in are showcase performances by invited acts judged to be poised to make a move in the business, both at the Raleigh Convention Center, and throughout the downtown area.
Then on Thursday evening, the organization hosts the annual International Bluegrass Music Awards show at Raleigh’s Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, where all the stars don their finest threads, walk the red carpet, and receive trophies for the best of bluegrass in 2019.
Friday morning sees the launch of the free weekend festival, Wide Open Bluegrass, held in downtown’s Red Hat Amphitheater, and along Fayetteville Street which is closed Friday and Saturday for the occasion. The street festival, with multiple stages and loads of food and craft vendors, is completely free of charge, and general admission seats at the Red Hat are also free. Tickets for the seats up front can be purchased online.
Bluegrass Today will be on site in force all week, with several correspondents and a pair of photographers to capture all the excitement. David Morris and Dave Berry will be helping me cover WOB, and both Frank Baker and Tara Linhardt will be behind the cameras. We will be posting more that our usual amount of content, so check back often to see all the coverage.
If you are coming to the convention or festival, please stop by and say howdy! We’ll be in the IBMA media room, typically room 302 A or B on the main level of the convention center – the opposite side from where most of the seminars are held. Bring us your news, and any new recordings or products we will want to know about!