World of Bluegrass 2013 Attended by 146,000+ in Raleigh, NC September 24-28

IBMA's World of Bluegrass Generated $10 Million in Direct Visitor Spending and $5 Million in Media Value


Thanks to our sponsors and attendees, this was possible.

World of Bluegrass Week included: the four-day IBMA Business Conference, the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, Bluegrass Ramble evening showcases on seven stages five nights, the two-day Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, and the free to the public weekend Wide Open Bluegrass Street Fest which partnered with the N.C. Whole Hog Barbecue State Championships. Combined, these events brought approximately 84,000 visitors from outside of Wake County to the area, generating approximately 20,000 hotel room-nights.

According to IBMA records, the cumulative attendance for the week was 146,894. In addition to the 140,000 on Friday & Saturday at Wide Open Bluegrass, this includes 2,259 at the IBMA Awards Show Sept. 26 and 4,635 cumulative attendees at the IBMA Business Conference.  

Total attendance figures for the weekend, including both local and out-of-town attendees, were estimated to be 140,000, by the Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau--with 60,000 on site Friday, Sept. 27 and 80,000 attendees on Saturday, Sept. 28 at paid and free stages. 

In addition to the $10 million in direct visitor spending, IBMA’s World of Bluegrass also produced $5 million in media value for Greater Raleigh. This figure was researched and calculated by Vocus, Inc., a leading marketing cloud provider, which used the keyword terms International Bluegrass Music Association in conjunction with the word Raleigh during the past 12 months. Vocus, Inc., provided the media value based on nearly 2,000 domestic and international media impressions throughout a variety of mediums. 

IBMA reports the following statistics for World of Bluegrass events: 

IBMA Business Conference 2013

  • 4,635 Unique Attendees at IBMA Business Conference (8,636 cumulative attendees over 3 days, Sept. 24-26) *includes Bluegrass Ramble evening showcase attendance

  • 94 attended the Leadership Bluegrass Alumni-hosted pre-event reception at Williams Mullen

  • 101 booths at the World of Bluegrass Exhibit Hall (Thur – Sat, 9/26-28)

  • 30 showcase bands (est 150 artists), who performed 3 times during the week

  • 10 showcasing songwriters with 3 co-hosts

  • 1,616 Professional Development attendees: 21 seminars, 1 keynote address, 2 storytelling sessions, 1 song demo listening session

  • 250 appointments at Gig Fair (appointments for event producers and artists/agents)

  • 50 attendees at Leadership Bluegrass Master Class Tuesday, September 27.

  • 300 Youth connected through the Youth Council Room, Wednesday through Saturday.

  • 1 General Membership Meeting with est. attendance of 50

  • 200 estimated. attendance at 8 Member Constituency Meetings, 1 breakfast meeting for new members & board members, 1 breakfast meeting for international attendees & board meetings

  • 156 sets at 30 Bluegrass Ramble evening showcases on 7 stages Tue & Wed nights 9/24-25, 6 stages Thur night 9/26, 5 stages Fri & Sat nights 9/27-28  (326 5-day wristband attendees & 2,610 individual night attendees)

  • 10 bluegrass bands presented educational bluegrass programs at local schools during the IBMA Business Conference, Sept. 24-26.

IBMA Awards Show

  • 2259 Attendees

  • Post Awards Show Party/Concert hosted by Foundation for Bluegrass Music at Tir Na Nog, attended by 300+

  • Radio Broadcast live on Sirius XM and streamed live on bluegrassnation.org and bluegrasstoday.com with over 10,000 viewers and listeners

  • Syndicated broadcast to 250+ Network Affiliates (mailed CDs)

  • Downloads from radio broadcasters around the globe through AirPlay Direct 

  • Largest Broadcast of any Bluegrass Special (broadcast coverage estimated +20 million worldwide)


Wide Open Bluegrass Festival 2013

  • 140,000 total attendees at the Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival (free to the public) & the paid stage areas of the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival combined (Friday: 60,000; Saturday: 80,000)

  • 12,000 tickets purchased for 6000-seat Red Hat Amphitheater, sold out Friday & Saturday nights

  • 16 sets on Red Hat Amphitheater stage

  • 19 sets on Raleigh Convention Center stage

  • 66 sets on Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival stages

  • 12 presentations on Fri-Sat workshop stage

  • 1 “Learn to Jam” workshop attended by 45

  • 1 five-part “Emerging Bands" workshop, Sept. 27, attended by 15

  • 101 Exhibitors (inside Raleigh Convention Center)

  • 8 weekend educational seminars attended by 315

  • 1 Youth Stage with 16 bands; Saturday organized by Youth Council

ESTIMATED UNIQUE TOTAL ATTENDANCE FOR THE WEEK: 146,894
*IBMA Business Conference (4635 unique attendees) + IBMA Awards (2,259) + 140,000 at Wide Open Bluegrass Festival) 

ESTIMATED CUMULATIVE TOTAL ATTENDANCE FOR THE WEEK: 150,895
*8636 Business Conference cumulative attendance for 3 days (includes Ramble attendees) + IBMA Awards (2259) + 140,000 at Wide Open Bluegrass Festival

LOCAL/REGIONAL ECONOMIC IMPACT – ESTIMATED $10 MILLION in direct visitor spending for Raleigh and Wake County, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitor’s Bureau


It's not too early to start thinking about sponsorship opportunities for World of Bluegrass 2014, scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 4 in Raleigh, NC!  Contact Nancy Cardwell at (615) 256-3222 or nancyc@ibma.org for more information about how you can get involved.