IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Week September 26 – October 2, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee drew a cumulative total of 18,070 attendees (an increase of about 2%); including 6,282 at the IBMA Business Conference; 2,226 at the International Bluegrass Music Awards; and 9,562 at Bluegrass Fan Fest.
A renewed energy and excitement prevailed during the seven day event hosted at the Nashville Convention Center and the Ryman Auditorium, as attendees celebrated the centennial of the birth of Bill Monroe, honored by fans around the world as the “Father of Bluegrass Music.”
In response to member surveys and suggestions, new a la carte pricing was instituted and a fresh approach to conference layout and access opened up the convention center to the public for jamming and networking.
As always, World of Bluegrass offered a number of valuable opportunities for professional development, artist and songwriter showcases, and exhibitors. But a number of new and interactive program elements were given a test run this year, including: two additional keynote addresses, special Bill Monroe storytelling sessions, a track of instrument-focused sessions for fans during the week, seminars and discussion circles on the weekend, more Fan Fest celebrity jam sessions, a special track of educational events for emerging artists, a community outreach concert at the Ryman on an outdoor stage featuring Del McCoury and a star-studded cast of friends, a new open mic for songwriters and a networking session with producers, the launch of the new “Bluebird in the Bluegrass” bluegrass songwriter night at the Bluebird Café, a free Wednesday afternoon in the exhibit hall, and a standing room only post-awards show party at the Hard Rock Café.
The results? We experienced the highest education attendance numbers (1,759 at 40 events) in the history of the organization; a crowd of 1,100 at McCourys' outdoor Ryman show; two sold-out nights at the Bluebird Café with sessions honoring IBMA Award nominees; the largest broadcast of any bluegrass radio special with the International Bluegrass Music Awards—with a potential audience of more than 20 million worldwide; a pre-event Awards nomination press conference at the Loveless Barn broadcast on Sirius XM and webcast live for the first time, followed by an evening of performances in conjunction with Music City Roots; and more than 260 artist performances over the course of the week representing the full and rich array of bluegrass!
Thanks to everyone who participated in World of Bluegrass this year including event sponsors, performing artists, exhibitors, educational panelists, committee members and volunteers. We hope the information gained and shared and the contacts made will continue to benefit you throughout the coming year.
And it’s not too early to put next year’s dates on the calendar now: September 24-30, 2012!
2011 WORLD OF BLUEGRASS FACTS
Nashville, Tennessee USA
ATTENDANCE & ACTIVITIES
CUMULATIVE TOTAL – 18,070 VISITORS
Business Conference 2011
IBMA Awards Show
Fan Fest 2011