Bluegrass is taking over Raleigh from Tuesday, Sept. 26 to Saturday, Sept. 30 for IBMA World of Bluegrass, a music conference, awards show, and festival that has garnered 223,000 attendees over the last six years.
Whether you’re a bluegrass fan, a banjo-strumming musician, or just curious about the genre, this event is for you. Here’s what to know for the 10th year of this event in the City of Oaks.
Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30 is IBMA Bluegrass Live, a festival that will take over five blocks of downtown with five stages, the exhibit hall at the Raleigh Convention Center, and Red Hat Amphitheater. Red Hat alone will welcome 10 acts on Friday and Saturday, like the Grammy-winning Del McCoury Band and Molly Tuttle performing with Golden Highway. Single-day tickets start at $50.
Street vendors will also line Fayetteville Street during the festival — expect arts and crafts, food + bev, and local artisans.
Before the festival formally starts, lend your ears to the bluegrass rambles Sept. 26-28. The musical gatherings will take place at various Raleigh locales, including the Raleigh Convention Center, Lincoln Theatre, The Pour House, and the Vintage Church. These lineups and venues promise a personal and intimate show with a chance to see new and emerging bluegrass acts. Ramble tickets start at $25 for a whole day’s worth of performances.
Bluegrass means business
If you’re more interested in the nitty gritty of the bluegrass industry, attend the business conference at the Raleigh Convention Center from Tuesday, Sept. 26 through Thursday, Sept. 28. This conference offers a variety of talks, including panels on artificial intelligence, women in songwriting, and music preservation, as well as jam sessions and instrument workshops. Conference tickets start at $110 for members and $135 for non-members.
The IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards
Don’t miss the 34th annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards on Thursday, Sept. 28 at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts. Watch outstanding bluegrass artists live on stage; tickets range from $50-$110.