I have found that while what happens on the stages and showcases is definitely an important part of IBMA, but I think many folks will tell you that a lot of the magic happens here in small rooms and with people meeting each other, or reuniting with others in between all the scheduled activities. In the hotel lobbies and rooms, the exhibit hall, and hallways and venues many friends are made and many spontaneous jams ensue that often create some of the dearest memories for IBMA participants. There are also small showcases that happen in the exhibit hall and in the hotel rooms, as well as the bigger ones on the official programs, and bigger stages which all contribute to the overwhelming amount of good talent folks can see as they walk anywhere.
Also WUNC radio is running from a room just down at the street at the Natural Sciences Museum where they are airing interviews and bands live on the air, which are also up on a large screen in the museum for folks to watch who may have an interest and can also be heard later from their website. I met and heard the great band called the Steel Wheels over there as we went back to back with their music and my interview about The Mountain Music Project documentary which I will be screening in the Convention Center Friday and Saturday.
Clay Hess Band at The Lincoln Theater
Sierra Hull and Ethan Jodziewicz at The Lincoln Theater