2023 Grant recipient Country GongBang returns to the U.S. for a run of shows and festival appearances!

This past September, the South Korean bluegrass group Country GongBang made quite a splash in Raleigh. Last year’s International Band Performance Grant recipient lit up stages across the city during 2023 IBMA World of Bluegrass®, with their unique take on the music we all love bringing droves of fans to their various performances across the week.

Did you miss your chance to see Country GongBang in Raleigh and want another opportunity to do so? Or maybe you were just as impressed as everyone else and are ready to see them again? We have some great news: you’re in luck!

The International Bluegrass Music Association is excited to welcome Country GongBang back to the United States for their 2024 Summer Tour!

Through the International Band Performance Grant program, the band will be traveling from South Korea to play a variety of stateside venues and festivals this June and July, including several that have partnered with IBMA directly for the benefit of the International Band Performance Grant program.

These partner venues and festivals can be seen below:

The Station Inn– June 21st: For decades, The Station Inn has been a bluegrass institution in the heart of Nashville, with countless bluegrass legends gracing its stage. The Station Inn has become world renowned, but it remains the special intimate gathering place for bluegrass musicians and fans.

Grand Ole Opry– June 22nd: A show that needs no introduction, the Grand Ole Opry is known around the world as the most famous stage in country and bluegrass music. For almost a century, the Opry has featured everyone from the brightest stars to up-and-coming acts, all while entertaining fans everywhere. It is also where audience members witnessed the historic evening in December 1945, when Earl Scruggs stepped on stage with Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys for the first time.

ROMP Festival– June 28th: A presentation of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky, the 21st annual ROMP Festival will feature a can’t-miss blend of traditional and contemporary bluegrass for fans of all ages and interests. The four-day festival will be held June 26-29.

Frankfort Bluegrass Festival– July 13th-14th: A not-for-profit free event, the 12th annual Frankfort Bluegrass Festival will be held in historic downtown Frankfort, Illinois and feature a stellar lineup of renowned international, national and regional bands alike across three stages.

Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival– July 18th, 19th, and 20th: Nestled on the Walsh Farm in Oak Hill, New York, the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival welcomes all bluegrass fans to the beautiful Catskills region for five days of music and memories. Set for July 17-21, this year’s Grey Fox lineup features some of the best acts in bluegrass.

The IBMA thanks the above venues and festivals for their participation in the International Band Performance Grant program! These partnerships are critical as we strive to shine a spotlight on outstanding bluegrass bands all around the world.

We are pleased that Country GongBang’s popularity has been growing, in part, because of the IBMA International Band Performance Grant. In addition to the schedule above with IBMA’s partners, the band can also be seen at the following:

June 13-14: CBA Father’s Day Festival (Grass Valley, CA)
June 18: Otter Opry (Monterey, CA)
June 19: Ruhstaller Farm Concert (Dixon, CA)
July 5: Forever Bluegrass Fridays (Chattanooga, TN)
July 6: Museum at Five Points (Cleveland, TN)
July 11: PPPP Proudly Presents (Cleveland, TN)
July 25-26: Ossipee Valley Music Festival (Hiram, ME)

We Need Your Help: Donate Today!

The IBMA has plans for growing this grant program to help our international community in even greater ways in the years ahead. We want to continue enhancing this important program to serve, connect, and grow the global bluegrass community, and we will only succeed with your help!

Just like during the launch of this impactful program in 2022, Paul and Alys Schiminger have once again offered to match donations up to $10,000 made now and through the end of this year’s IBMA World of Bluegrass®. Please consider making a generous gift of $50, $75, $100 or more today to support great music and support the “I” in IBMA!


About the Program

IBMA’s International Band Performance Grant was started in 2022 to better engage and support our international community members and to provide an opportunity to spotlight one band each year for performances at IBMA World of Bluegrass® and a U.S. tour the following summer. The goal is to offer an impactful platform for excellent non-U.S. bands seeking a larger global performance presence.

A separate fund was created to provide a grant to the annual recipient to help offset the high costs of traveling to the U.S. twice and obtaining the necessary visas to perform. The follow-up summer tour currently includes performances at The Station Inn in Nashville, The Grand Ole Opry, ROMP Festival in Owensboro, KY, the Frankfort Bluegrass Festival in Frankfort, Il, and Grey Fox Festival in Oak Hill, NY. Bands are encouraged to add any dates to this tour to maximize their experience. As of now, the selected band receives a $3,000 grant to travel to IBMA World of Bluegrass® and then an additional $2,000 for their subsequent summer tour.  Additionally, the IBMA has partnered with its attorneys to offer recipients legal assistance with the visa process at a deeply reduced fee.

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