For the past 7 years, the venerable Grand Masters Fiddler Championship has been held in Nashville during the IBMA World of Bluegrass week in late September. It had been hosted at the Opryland theme park from 1972 until it was left homeless when the park closed in ’97.
The partnership with IBMA marked the contest’s rising from the ashes, after it was privately organized as a Tennessee non-profit in 2004. But with IBMA moving its signature events to Raleigh, the fate of the competition was again uncertain. Initial plans were to follow World of Bluegrass to North Carolina, but today Howard H. Harris, Chairman and CEO of the Grand Masters, announced that they will be remaining in Nashville for 2013.
“The Grand Master Fiddler Championship will be held Labor Day weekend (August 31-September 1) at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Although we had planned to move to Raleigh with the IBMA, due to the support we receive from the Tennessee and Metro Nashville Arts Commissions, we will not be able to make this move for 2013.
We love the IBMA folks, Fan Fest, the Awards show, and everything that goes with that thrilling week of bluegrass, and will miss being an integral part of the events. Personally, I plan to be there with my family and friends to enjoy Fan Fest in my home state of North Carolina.”
More details about the Grand Masters, its storied history, and its stellar list of previous winners, can be found online.
UPDATE 5/8: The initial posting of this article showed the wrong date for the competition. It will be held August 31-September 1.