2018 Ballot Schedule

Ballot 1: April 16 – April 27
Ballot 2: June 13 – June 27
Ballot 3: August 1 – August 15

April 2:  Last Date for Members to Join/Renew and Vote on 1st Ballot
May 31:  Last Date for Members to Join/Renew and Vote on 2nd Ballot
July 18: Last Date for Members to Join/Renew and Vote on 3rd Ballot

Note: The IBMA uses a third party for the balloting process to ensure fairness in awards voting. This balloting firm has to have membership information well in advance of each ballot. Therefore, we have set cut-off dates for memberships prior to ballots going out.


In the first round, each current Professional Member of the IBMA may nominate as many as five entries per category and subcategory on the ballot. All eligible entries receiving ten or more votes on the first ballot become candidates for nomination, and will be placed on the second ballot.


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The International Bluegrass Music Awards are given in several categories. Each category has its own criteria, and its own guidelines clarifying who the recipients are.

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Selection Process

The Selection Process for the International Bluegrass Music Awards has been established by the IBMA’s Board of Directors, and the Committee for Criteria and Eligibility is charged with oversight of these procedures.

Understanding the Selection Process helps our voting members throughout the balloting process.

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To qualify for awards consideration, albums must have been released during the eligibility period [April 1 of the previous year through March 31 of the current year]. Songs must have been released OR shown significant chart action during the eligibility period.

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A crowd-sourced Reference List is made available to voting members as they fill out the first, all write-in ballot.  The Reference List consists solely of the submissions made by IBMA members and the bluegrass community. (The IBMA staff/board does NOT gather information or contribute in anyway to this list.)

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