Start making your plans right away to attend IBMA’s World of Bluegrass. As you’re about to see in our new promo video, it’s going to be our best event yet!
If you joined us for our first year in Raleigh, then you know what a great time we had—and in response to the feedback we got, we’re striving to make this year even better. For those who enjoyed seeing showcase and sponsored bands in venues, the Bluegrass Ramble is back; for those who didn’t, we’ve added more showcase slots on stages in the Raleigh Convention Center. The Bluegrass Expo Hall will be open one day longer, and we’ve added transportation options for the Ramble and after-hours showcase rooms in the Marriott—and those are just some of the biggest changes you’ll see.
You probably already know about the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, formerly Fan Fest; it’s a world-class festival featuring a wide range of the top artists in our music, along with hot up-and-comers and some special collaborations you just won’t see anywhere else. Wrapped around it is Raleigh’s Wide Open Bluegrass street fair, with another set of stages, dozens more artists, food vendors, merch tents and a whole lot more. Last year, more than 140,000 people took advantage of this two-in-one event, and that makes it a place to be in anyone’s book! Then there’s our Awards Show, honoring—and hearing performances by—the best and the brightest in the bluegrass world, including new inductees into our Hall of Fame. As anyone there last year can tell you, you never know when a once-in-a-lifetime moment might come along, such as seeing Tony Rice’s famous induction speech.
The real heart of the week for anyone who’s a part of our industry—as a musician, agent, journalist, broadcaster, songwriter, event producer or in any other capacity—is our business conference. This is where skills are learned and knowledge shared; where bands are formed, deals are struck, instruments are bought, interviews done; where you’ll find speakers to inspire and energize you, and where you’ll make connections that will last your entire career.
Email, phone calls, social media—those are great tools. But in building your bluegrass business, there’s just no substitute for face-to-face contact, and that’s especially true when you’re starting out.
I don’t know any better way to say it than this: if you’re in the business of bluegrass, you need to be there.
So take a look at the details, hit us up with any questions you might have, and get yourself signed up! I look forward to seeing you there.
-Jon Weisberger, Chair
Gabe Nelson - F Stop Grooves
Tracks used in order of appearance:
"Truck Rust and Tobacco Barns" – The Rigneys
"Don't B Flat" – Barbwire
"Hollow Point" – Driven