Earlier today, the International Bluegrass Music Association and the city of Raleigh, NC announced that they have extended their contract to host the annual World of Bluegrass convention in Raleigh for an additional three years. When the IBMA/Raleigh partnership was initially made public in 2012, it was disclosed as a three year agreement, for 2013-2015.
Today’s announcement makes clear that any doubters on the IBMA Board were won over by the success of the 2013 events in Raleigh, and the support the organization has received from various entities in North Carolina.
As in years past, World of Bluegrass week will involve four primary components, running September 30 through October 4:
- The Business Conference runs from Tuesday-Thursday, including seminars, constituency meetings, an exhibit hall, keynote addresses, showcase performances and more.
- Thursday night finds everyone attending the International Bluegrass Music Awards, a gala awards show with performances from top artists, and trophies awarded in multiple categories. The show will be streamed live online, but it’s always a hot ticket for folks who want to be in the house.
- Saturday and Sunday things switch over to a big bluegrass festival, Wide Open Bluegrass, where the IBMA puts bluegrass’ best foot forward in Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater, next to the convention center. The exhibit hall is also open over the weekend, accessible at no charge to festival goers and visitors.
- The Bluegrass Ramble runs all week, presenting evening showcase artists at the convention center, and at selected venues within walking distance of the two primary hotels. Free transportation for WOB registrants is provided by bus to and from these shows.
Though not sponsored or managed by IBMA, the City of Raleigh also hosts a two-day street festival downtown, which offers food, music and children’s activities all with a bluegrass theme. Again in 2014, the North Carolina Pork Council will hold their state Barbecue Championship to run on Saturday, October 4, as part of the street fair.
Also at this afternoon’s press conference in Raleigh, an initial line up for Wide Open Bluegrass was released. Set to perform this year are:
- Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder with Bruce Hornsby
- Del McCoury Band with special guests
- Hot Rize
- Gibson Brothers
- Steep Canyon Rangers
- Sierra Hull
- Wide Open Jam – featuring Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer, Bryan Sutton and Stuart Duncan
Full details on World of Bluegrass activities can be found online.