IBMA Announces Annual Conference Move to Raleigh for 2013-2015

For immediate release: May 16, 2012
Contact: Nancy Cardwell, (615) 256-3222, director@ibma.org

Nashville, Tenn…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 24 - 28, 2013
  • September 30 - October 4, 2014
  • September 29 - October 3, 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 we had designed a perfect venue for our events, it would look a lot like the facilities in Raleigh,” 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 partnership with Raleigh.”

“I speak for the entire Greater Raleigh hospitality community in saying that we are ecstatic to host IBMA’s annual conference beginning in 2013,” said Denny Edwards, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to showcasing our area’s musical and cultural heritage to the thousands of fans, musicians and industry leaders coming to North Carolina’s Capital City.”


The leadership of IBMA is looking forward to working with a local organizing committee in Raleigh to plan World of Bluegrass and a city-wide celebration, with showcase and performance opportunities for dozens of bands in the Raleigh Convention Center, the headquarter hotels, local schools, and up and down the streets in local music clubs and cafes.

“North Carolina has a rich bluegrass music history,” IBMA Interim Executive Director Nancy Cardwell noted.  “A number of our Bluegrass Hall of Fame members hail from the Tar Heel State, including Earl Scruggs himself; legendary guitar stylist Doc Watson; Red Smiley of Reno & Smiley; Carlton Haney, who produced the first multi-day bluegrass festival; Curly Seckler; Carl Story and George Shuffler.  Pre-bluegrass pioneers Wade Mainer and Charlie Poole are from North Carolina, and the Monroe Brothers (Charlie and Bill) made their first recordings in Charlotte, N.C.  The tradition continues today with a number of talented artists based in the Carolinas---including our reigning Entertainers of the Year with Steve Martin, The Steep Canyon Rangers”

While the World of Bluegrass will move to Raleigh, IBMA’s office will remain in Nashville. “IBMA hosted our World of Bluegrass events in Owensboro and Louisville, Kentucky before moving to Nashville in 2005,” said Cardwell. “We have a good home in Nashville, and we intend to stay actively involved throughout the year in local efforts to keep a high profile for bluegrass music in Music City, including quarterly ‘Bluebird in the Bluegrass’ songwriter rounds at The Bluebird Café, a ‘September is Worldwide Bluegrass Music Month’ downtown concert organized by the Foundation for Bluegrass Music, teacher workshops in collaboration with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and other events produced by local members.”

IBMA’s 2012 dates for World of Bluegrass are Sept. 24-30, in Nashville, Tennessee.  Members and fans are invited to come enjoy the conference in Nashville, to be sure to secure a ticket early for the 23rd International Bluegrass Music Awards at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Sept. 27, and to absolutely enjoy everything Music City has to offer before we move to Raleigh for the next three years. 


Call 615-256-3222 or email info@ibma.org for more information or visit www.worldofbluegrass.org for event updates throughout the summer. For reservations at Nashville’s Renaissance Hotel and surrounding properties during World of Bluegrass 2012, please call 877-259-4716 or (615) 259-4700.  

IBMA is the international trade association for bluegrass music, with members in 50 states and 30 countries, whose goal is to work together for the future of bluegrass music.