IBMA Awards show to switch producers for 2017

The International Bluegrass Music Association has announced today that they will be bringing in a new production team to stage their Awards Show, scheduled for September 28 in Raleigh, NC. The show is a gala event, hosted this year by Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, where trophies are handed out to the top bluegrass performers and songwriters, as voted over a three-step process by the professional membership of the organization.

As we understand it, feathers were ruffled among some of the artists scheduled to perform on the show by being asked to take part in multi-artist collaborations that some felt put them in a less than ideal position, especially on such a giant stage. The awards show is typically broadcast live on SiriusXM, and an edited version made available to bluegrass radio broadcasters worldwide. In previous years it has also been streamed live on video online, though no plans for doing so in 2017 have been released.

When IBMA made some changes to the run of the show to satisfy the performers’ concerns, the existing production team balked and have announced that they will step away from this year’s event.

Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of the IBMA explained in a statement this afternoon.

“The IBMA is looking forward to another incredible Awards Show at the Duke Energy Center in Raleigh, NC on September 28th. As previously announced, the theme of this year’s show is the ‘Bluegrass Songbook’ and will feature this year’s award nominees, Hall of Fame members, and special guests performing both artist-featured songs and special musical collaborations. In the past few days, we decided to make some modifications to the show’s program. This decision put Executive Producer, Amy Reitnouer, and her team at a disadvantage, especially since Amy is unable to be in Raleigh for the awards show this year. Therefore, Amy and her production team feel it best to step away from producing this year’s show. Fortunately they have laid the groundwork for an excellent show and will assist in the transition. Board Chair, Joe Mullins, and I have quickly formed a list of qualified candidates to complete the planned program. We deeply appreciate Amy’s expert production over the past three years to put our artists and music in such a spectacular light. We still look forward to working with Amy and her colleagues at the Bluegrass Situation, our media partner sponsor for World of Bluegrass.”

Amy Reitnouer tells us that the new producers will be working from the script already developed for 2017, and will be available to assist them as they take over.

“Due to a shift in the creative goals of this year’s IBMA Awards Show, my co-producers and I have decided to step aside from our roles. I am immensely proud of the shows I have helmed over the past three years, and want only the best for IBMA, the nominated artists, and our incredible crew in Raleigh. I will be assisting in the transition as the organization seeks a new producer and wish them luck in their execution of a class act production.” 

IBMA is currently in discussions with a number of producers they feel are capable of tackling this show on short notice.

Tickets for the International Bluegrass Music Awards are available for purchase 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.