IBMA Announces World of Bluegrass Attendance Numbers, Program Report

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

  • 1610 Unique Attendees  (6282 cumulative/4 days)
  • 77 Exhibitors
  • 19 Showcasing Artists (Est. Avg. Attendance - 450)
  • 10 Showcasing Songwriters
  • 191+ “After Hours” Artist Showcases
  • 40 seminars, educational labs, keynote addresses, storytelling sessions, song demo listening sessions & discussion circles attended by 1,759
  • 94 Mentor Sessions on 32 topics
  • 1 Gig Fair (392 appointments for event producers and artists/agents)
  • 1 Leadership Bluegrass “master class” for 38
  • 1 General Membership Meeting
  • 4 Member Constituency Meetings
  • 1 Community Outreach Concert at Ryman (outdoor stage) attended by 1,100

IBMA Awards Show

  • Attendance – 2,226
  • Post Awards Show Party/Concert at Hard Rock Café attended by 400+
  • Radio Broadcast live on Sirius XM and WSM-AM and syndicated to 330 Network Affiliates
  • 174 Commercial Stations + 135 Non-Commercial
  • Largest Broadcast of any Bluegrass Special

Fan Fest 2011

  • 3,900 Unique Attendees (9,562 cumulative/3 days)
  • Performing Artists - 60+ Acts on Three Stages
  • 75 Exhibitors
  • 11 Education Sessions attended by 307