And so it begins…
Once again, a large portion of the bluegrass industry is assembling today in Raleigh, NC for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual convention, World of Bluegrass. If you are involved in this sort of music professionally, this event is for you.
Artists are here to promote their new music, labels to do the same as they hunt for new talent. Show producers and songwriters come to learn from each other about the latest trends, as do radio programmers and association heads. Artist representatives and managers huddle as well, and talk with the label and show folks. Everyone wants to see and hear the acts IBMA has chosen as Bluegrass Ramble showcase artists, and attend the awards shows that honor musicians and industry professionals who keep the bluegrass world humming.
As usual, we are here with a team of crack journalists and photographers, and will be covering the IBMA happenings all week. As the Business Conference runs through Thursday, followed by the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards Show Thursday evening, and the two big Bluegrass Live! festivals Friday and Saturday, most of our coverage will be centered on events on the ground here in Raleigh, though we will also highlight any other news of interest in bluegrass.
For the second time since World of Bluegrass moved to Raleigh, this weekend’s outdoor events are threatened by the approach of a hurricane. And just as they did in 2015 when Joaquin dumped a literal ton of water on central North Carolina, the IBMA has a plan in place should it prove to be a wet weekend.
Without revealing too many details, IBMA Executive Director Pat Morris says that they have an eye on Ian.
“IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC will take place, and there will be music this weekend in downtown Raleigh. Event organizers are actively monitoring the weather situation and are prepared to pivot to help ensure the safety and comfort of event attendees. We have navigated inclement weather in previous years; in 2015, we moved the music inside to the Raleigh Convention Center due to Hurricane Joaquin, and the event was a big success with attendees and artists alike. We are prepared to make necessary changes for this weekend’s festival and will share updates as we have them.”
And if Ian moves out to sea, music will resonate off the buildings in downtown Raleigh as Bluegrass Live! takes place in the Red Hat Amphitheater across from the Convention Center, and all along Fayetteville Street downtown on multiple free stages, with vendors galore as we celebrate music, family, food, and fun.
Please check in regularly to see World of Bluegrass updates all week and weekend.