World of Bluegrass kicks off in Raleigh

World of Bluegrass 2016Things got started this morning here in Raleigh, NC as the IBMA’s 2016 World of Bluegrass convention swings into action. Multiple seminars are going on during the day, with a keynote address from Marian Leighton Levy of Rounder Records at 4:00 p.m. followed by an almost absurd amount of live music kicking off at 6:00.

All seems to be running smoothly, and the weather is lovely here in Raleigh. Those who attended in 2015 will recall that the remnants of Hurricane Joaquin lingered over the area for much of the week. All outdoor events had to be moved in at the last minute, a massive headache for all involved. But it seems like all of the rain we experienced yesterday has blown out to sea, with clear, blue skies in the forecast going forward.

We’ll have coverage this afternoon from many of the daytime seminars, along with photos from the Bluegrass Ramble shows this evening.

This year we’re sharing a media room in the Convention Center with a crew from KET TV in Lexington, KY who are filming a major documentary project about bluegrass music. They plan to shoot as many as two dozen interviews here with top bluegrass personalities, and capture some footage of the various performances and the late night jamming. The finished project could be a couple years in the making, as they also hope to film at some of the larger outdoor festivals next year, showing the wide variety of styles that fit under the bluegrass umbrella, as well as the many types of folks who enjoy the music.

What producer Nick Helton described as his vision for this project seems quite encompassing, perhaps more an introduction/explanation of the bluegrass scene for those not already all in than a show for hard core fans. Sounds like must-watch TV whenever it is completed.

Keep an eye on Bluegrass Today all week during World of Bluegrass. We’ll be checking out the Exhibit Hall for new products, plus the Momentum Awards announcements tomorrow, the Special Awards on Thursday and the main IBMA Awards Thursday night.

Then it’s on to the Wide Open Bluegrass festival Friday and Saturday, and the City of Raleigh’s free street festival downtown. If you live within an easy drive of the North Carolina Piedmont, come on down! There’s always room for one more.

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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.