The International Bluegrass Music Association announced its plans today to move its World of Bluegrass events to Raleigh, North Carolina for the next three years, 2013-2015. World of Bluegrass Week includes the four-day IBMA Business Conference, the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, and the three-day Bluegrass Fan Fest. The annual industry summit/bluegrass family reunion draws over 16,000 fans, artists, and music industry professionals from around the world for the week-long event, with an estimated 8,000-10,000 coming from outside the region. World of Bluegrass provides opportunities for showcasing, professional development, and networking at the largest concentrated week of powerful, live bluegrass music on the planet.
The following World of Bluegrass dates have been announced, with the option for a five- or seven-day event each year:
September 23 – 29, 2013
September 29 – October 5, 2014
September 28 – October 4, 2015
World of Bluegrass 2013-2015 will be hosted at the Raleigh Convention Center, the Raleigh Amphitheater and Memorial Auditorium, with hotel blocks at the Raleigh Marriott City Center, the Sheraton Raleigh and six additional nearby hotels. “If someone had designed a venue perfect for our events, the City of Raleigh could not have done a better job,” said IBMA Board of Directors chair Stan Zdonik. “Raleigh offers us a compact ‘campus’ that includes both indoor and outdoor stages, as well as a state-of-the-art convention center that incorporates a bright and open atmosphere. We’re getting substantial savings and value from Raleigh, both for individual World of Bluegrass attendees and for our organization as a whole. We’re overwhelmed already by the strong support from the City of Raleigh, the Raleigh Convention Center and Venues, the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau, and PineCone (Piedmont Council of Traditional Music), along with an enthusiastic welcome from the local bluegrass music community. IBMA anticipates a successful event and a long-term partnership with Raleigh.”
“Raleigh has been at the epicenter of the bluegrass music scene from the beginning,” says William Lewis, executive director of PineCone. “At 50,000 watts, Raleigh’s WPTF was a prominent stop on the country and bluegrass music radio circuit during the 1920s -1950s. The Monroe Brothers were one of the first major touring acts to appear on WPTF in 1937-1938, though local groups such as the Charlie Poole Swingbillies had performed there prior. In fact, while working in Raleigh at WPTF, the Monroe Brothers (Charlie and Bill) famously parted ways in 1938, beginning the chain of events that would eventually lead Bill Monroe to form The Blue Grass Boys. Hosting the World of Bluegrass in Raleigh brings industry leaders, musicians, and bluegrass fans together in a place that was and continues to be a significant part of bluegrass music’s development.”
Images will be available after today’s press conference; please contact Jamie Katz, firstname.lastname@example.org, for photos.
PineCone is supported by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations from the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County with funds from the United Arts campaign, and the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. PineCone is a private, non-profit charitable organization dedicated to preserving, presenting and promoting traditional forms of music, dance and other folk performing arts.