Additional information, education sessions outlined for the five-day virtual business conference 

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, September 3, 2020 – The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) has announced that GRAMMY-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz will deliver the Keynote Address on Monday, September 28 at this year’s IBMA Business Conference, part of IBMA Virtual World of Bluegrass.

“Having attended IBMA as a young kid just getting into bluegrass, and having returned more recently as a performer at their Raleigh conference, I’m deeply honored to have been asked to be this year’s keynote speaker. I look forward to helping kick things off!” said Jarosz.

With her captivating voice and richly detailed songwriting, Sarah Jarosz has emerged as one of the most compelling musicians of her generation. A three-time Grammy Award-winner at the age of 29, the Texas native’s critically acclaimed releases include Song Up in her HeadFollow Me Down, Build Me Up From Bones, and Undercurrent, in addition to joining forces with Sara Watkins and Aoife O’Donovan to form the acclaimed Grammy winning folk trio I’m With Her. Her latest release, World On the Ground, is a finely wrought collection of stories from her hometown of Wimberley, Texas, presenting a series of character sketches nearly novelistic in emotional scope.

IBMA also provided additional information about this year’s Virtual Business Conference:

  • As a virtual event, the conference will open on Monday, September 28 with Jarosz’s Keynote presentation at 11am ET, and run through Friday morning.
  • Each day will begin at 11am ET with a featured special presentation, followed by a set of three concurrent educational sessions at 12pm ET (with Monday featuring an additional block of sessions at 3pm ET).
  • Education session topics were developed with a thematic focus on “The Next 75,” looking forward as we reflect on the 75th anniversary of bluegrass music, while also addressing the needs of the industry in the present. Topics include the following:
    • Navigating COVID-19 Relief Programs
    • Revenue Streams and the Music Modernization Act
    • Polishing Your Online Presence
    • Inspiring Youth Diversity in Bluegrass
    • Release Rollouts
    • Broadcast Interviewing
    • Band Coaching
    • Record Collecting
    • Understanding and Working the Bluegrass Charts
    • Creating a Bluegrass Legacy
    • Studio Mastering
    • State of Bluegrass Songwriting
    • Journey of a Song: From Writing to Release
    • Making the Switch to Digital (Online Events)
    • Holding Live Events Safely
    • Turning Transitions into Long Range Careers
    • Artist Team Feature
    • Teaching Bluegrass Online

Full schedule and speaker roster coming soon, with topics subject to change.

In addition to the education sessions, the IBMA Business Conference will feature:

  • An online version of the Gig Fair—one of the most popular conference events each year— on Monday afternoon, Sept. 28
  • The IBMA Momentum Awards (3pm ET Tuesday, Sept. 29)
  • The IBMA Industry Awards and Distinguished Achievement Awards program (3pm ET on Wednesday, Sept. 30)
  • Songwriter Showcase (3pm ET on Thursday, Oct 1)
  • Two virtual in-the-round Song Circles (4:30pm ET on Thursday, Oct 1)
  • The Annual IBMA Town Hall Meeting (11am ET on Friday, Oct 2)
  • The IBMA Virtual Exhibit Hall will be open and available throughout the entire event, with set “exhibit hall hours” Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5pm ET.

“In a year when our community has been so affected by COVID-related issues, it is crucial that the IBMA Business Conference contain substantive information that helps us all rebuild as business people, as musicians, and as a community… and we’ve delivered,” said Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of the IBMA. “Gaining insights from a brilliant young mind like Sarah Jarosz to kick off this year’s Conference underscores the quality of programming, workshops, and seminars that participants will be able to access this year.”

“We’ve made a concerted effort to keep the IBMA Business Conference registration affordable; we hope that this pricing will allow a wide variety of musicians, craftsmen, industry professionals and entrepreneurs to experience the conference this year – maybe for the first time,” said Schiminger.

To attend this year’s Keynote Address, registration for the IBMA Business Conference is required. Conference registration is available for $99 for IBMA members, and $149 for non-members. Register here:

For additional details on the Business Conference, visit

IBMA continues to develop innovative, compelling activities and content for this year’s event, and will be releasing additional information and updates as they are available; details will be shared across the organization’s social media platforms, through email notification, and on and 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 ― ― 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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