Take in Wide Open Bluegrass 2014 – free of charge!

wob14_thIf you missed the inaugural year for World of Bluegrass in Raleigh last year, you missed perhaps the best debut for a new host city of any recurring event I have been involved with. The city planners and tourism agencies in Raleigh went above and beyond, and the IBMA staff (and a host of volunteers) did a marvelous job planning and executing a three day business conference with a major awards show and broadcast, and a large outdoor festival, from 500 miles away.

Raleigh even closed the streets downtown for a free weekend festival of their own, and successfully included the local community in the fun.

It was a triumph for the city, which had been facing criticism about the lack of promised convention business following a large investment in a new convention center. For IBMA, the funds raised that week pulled them out of a deep hole and the positive press was a victory for both, with the locals getting a free party in the bargain.

So… have you planned to attend in 2014? Festivities run from September 30-October 4 and the two primary host hotels are already sold out. Accommodations are still available at a number of convenient nearby facilities, and parking downtown is widespread.

During the week, all the events are geared towards those who work in the bluegrass industry, with a transition to a more fan-oriented music festival on Friday, October 3. Shows take place both in the Raleigh Convention Center, and in the adjacent Red Hat Amphitheater, with a special youth stage and instrumental and vocal workshops scheduled throughout Friday and Saturday.

The weekend festival goes by Wide Open Bluegrass, and a ticket gets you in to all the concerts, seminars and workshops. Visit Raleigh, the city’s official tourism agency is hosting a sweepstakes called All Expenses Played which will bring two lucky bluegrass lovers to town for all the fun.

Valued at roughly $1000, the prize package contains everything you need for a fun bluegrass weekend in Raleigh:

  • One (1) two-night (Oct. 3-4, 2014) hotel accommodation at a Raleigh hotel
  • Two (2) general admission tickets to PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass shows on Oct. 3-4, 2014, in Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater
  • Two (2) access wristbands to the 2014 Wide Open Bluegrass VIP tent
  • One (1) $500 gift card to defray transportation costs
  • One (1) $25 gift card to a downtown Raleigh restaurant
  • Two (2) official Wide Open Bluegrass T-shirts

Entries can be made online, and are open to US residents 18 years and older (void where prohibited). August 28 is the last day for registration, and a winner will be announced on the 29th.

What are you waiting for – enter today!

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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.