Presentations from JD Crowe, Mumford & Sons’ Winston Marshall, Jerry Douglas, Kristin Scott Benson, Doyle Lawson, and Ronnie McCoury will kick off daily conference activities Sept 29-Oct 1
Day/times for education sessions, Gig Fair, Songwriter Showcase, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Town Hall, and much more, now available online.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, September 18, 2020 – IBMA Virtual World of Bluegrass, the annual bluegrass music homecoming and convention that takes place online this year, will begin on September 28, with the IBMA Business ConferenceIBMA Bluegrass Ramble, the 31st Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards, and music festival IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC running through October 3.

“This has been a challenging year for our annual event – but it’s also been a rewarding one,” said Eddie Huffman, IBMA’s Director of Operations. “We’ve been able to assemble an amazing array of talent and plan innovative, compelling programming that we’re quite proud of. It’s important that everyone is aware of how vibrant and substantive this year’s Virtual World of Bluegrass will be. Because our industry has been hit so hard by the impacts of the pandemic, we feel it is incredibly important to connect with one another online to share our collective breadth of experience and knowledge, to support each other and, in the process, support bluegrass.”

As previously announced, GRAMMY-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz will deliver the Keynote Address on Monday, September 28 to kick off this year’s virtual IBMA Business Conference. Organizers have added three new featured presentations to kick off each day’s conference activities Tuesday-Thursday, as well:

Tuesday at 11 AM ET: Artist-2-Artist with J.D. Crowe, Winston Marshall, and Jerry Douglas
Hall of Famer J.D. Crowe’s infusion of new ideas into bluegrass banjo took the music to a decidedly younger and more diverse crowd, inspiring a new generation of pickers and fans. His music would influence a young banjo player across the Atlantic named Winston Marshall, who would take the banjo to millions of fans worldwide. As a member of Grammy award-winning Mumford & Sons, Winston has helped completely transform the image of the banjo in popular culture.

Jerry Douglas has used his dobro to build musical bridges throughout his storied career. He has shared both the stage and the studio with J.D. Crowe and Winston Marshall, and he invites you to join him and these two groundbreaking banjo players for a fun conversation about how music unites.

Wednesday at 11 AM ET: Artist-2-Artist with Doyle Lawson and Kristin Scott Benson
Doyle Lawson has been a leader in bluegrass music for decades. He and Quicksilver played at a festival in Dahlonega, Georgia in the mid-eighties, and it changed the life of a young girl in the audience named Kristin. Three and a half decades later, Kristin Scott Benson is one the most celebrated banjo players of her generation and is the reigning IBMA Banjo Player of the Year. She sits down with Bluegrass Hall of Fame member, Doyle Lawson, to talk about the impact he and his music have had on her and on the bluegrass community at large.

Thursday at 11 AM ET: Jerry Garcia & Bluegrass: From the Bay, to Bean Blossom, and Back
Jerry Garcia is unquestionably a towering figure in American culture, and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He and the Grateful Dead set the template for a new style of music that would inspire generations, much as Bill Monroe, The Father of Bluegrass himself, had done. What’s less known about Jerry, is that long before, during, and after the Grateful Dead, he was a banjo player, a bluegrass musician, even an aspiring Bluegrass Boy. Join Ronnie McCoury, filmmaker Brian Miklis and others in a conversation diving deep into the relationship of a true giant of American music, and the music that inspired him.

To stream these sessions, as well as many others – see the full schedule here –  IBMA Business Conference registration is required. Business Conference registration also allows access to other valuable content: an online version of the Gig Fair (one of the most popular conference events each year) the Songwriter Showcase, two virtual in-the-round Song Circles, the Annual IBMA Town Hall Meeting, the IBMA Virtual Exhibit Hall, and much more.

“We’re excited to be hosting our event on the Swapcard platform,” said Huffman. “Originally a networking app to support in-person events, the company pivoted with the onset of the pandemic and developed a top-notch, full featured virtual event platform. We selected it for our conference and all WOB events because of its superb networking features, user-friendly functionality, and exceptional virtual exhibiting capabilities. We love it, and think everyone will too!”

Conference registration is available at a lower price point than in years past: $99 for IBMA members, and $149 for non-members. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/ibma-9856588504

For additional details on the Business Conference, and to view the full schedule, visit https://worldofbluegrass.org.

Additional information and updates on details pertaining to IBMA Virtual World of Bluegrass will be shared across the organization’s social media platforms, through email notification, and on worldofbluegrass.org and ibma.org. Updates also will be available via social media platforms and email newsletters of Raleigh partners, including PineCone, the Raleigh Convention Center, and Visit Raleigh.

More info about IBMA World of Bluegrass 2020

IBMA World of Bluegrass 2020 is a virtual bluegrass music homecoming and convention. The IBMA World of Bluegrass 2020 event encompasses four events: the IBMA Business ConferenceIBMA Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of band showcases, the 31st Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards, and music festival IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC.

According to data released by Visit Raleigh, attendance at IBMA World of Bluegrass has grown by more than 50% since moving to Raleigh in 2013. Over the last seven years combined, the event has attracted more than 1.2 million total attendees and generated more than $80 million in direct economic impact throughout Wake County. Last year’s event (2019) alone saw more than 200 acts perform, 218,000 attendees and generated $18.65 million in direct economic impact.

IBMA continues to offer a Community Resources page at its official website ― ibma.org ― that offers updated information about COVID-19 that is relevant to the bluegrass community.

About IBMA
IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the nonprofit professional organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s successful run in Raleigh is the product of their partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone—The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.


Press Info: Judy McDonough, Karen Campbell Media
[email protected], 615-243-5994

General Info: Casey Campbell, IBMA
[email protected], 615-256-3222

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