Stephen Mougin will host this year’s virtual Momentum Awards Show on Tuesday, September 29 at 3:00 pm ET; the show will feature performances by all five “Momentum Band of the Year” finalists and awards in five Momentum categories.

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn will host this year’s virtual Industry Awards Show on Wednesday, September 30 at 3:00 pm ET; the show will include the presentation of the Distinguished Achievement Awards to this year’s recipients

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE, September 11, 2020 – The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced additional details for this year’s Momentum Awards and Industry Awards. These two award ceremonies are part of IBMA Virtual World of Bluegrass.

Both award shows will livestream exclusively via Swapcard, the official event platform for IBMA Virtual World of Bluegrass event this year. The show will stream free, with donations encouraged to help support the IBMA during this difficult time.


The 2020 Momentum Awards take place Tuesday, September 29, at 3:00 pm ET; the one-hour show will be hosted by Stephen Mougin. Mougin is an acclaimed music educator, songwriter, artist in The Sam Bush Band and Nedski and Mojo, owner of Dark Shadow Recording (a full-service studio and record label), and 2016 IBMA Momentum Mentor of the Year.

The Momentum Awards recognize both musicians and bluegrass industry professionals who, in the early stages of their careers, are making significant contributions to or are having a significant influence upon bluegrass music. These contributions can be to bluegrass music in general, or to a specific sector of the industry. The Mentor Award, in contrast to the other Momentum Awards, recognizes a bluegrass professional who has made a significant impact on the lives and careers of newcomers to the bluegrass industry.

“It’s so exciting to be able to recognize the Momentum nominees; they are all incredibly talented and inspiring!” exclaimed Trisha Tubbs, producer of this year’s Momentum Awards Show. “A unique and special award for the whole music industry is IBMA’s Momentum Mentor of the Year award. It recognizes those very special people in our community who have taken the time to mentor and help others, often without getting paid and doing this behind the scenes without any fanfare and recognition.”

The Momentum Awards Show will also feature virtual performances by the five finalists for Momentum Band of the Year: AJ Lee and Blue Summit, Colebrook Road, Midnight Skyracer, Seth Mulder & Midnight Run, and The Slocan Ramblers.

“Because we had to pivot to a virtual show, for the first time ever, we will be able to showcase a performance by each of the five finalists for Momentum Band of the Year, noted Trisha Tubbs. “It’s exciting because not only are they all outstanding bands, but every band is doing an original song written by one of their band members.”

The 2020 Momentum Awards are sponsored by the California Bluegrass Association, and the Canadian Consulate.


The 2020 Industry Awards will take place Wednesday, September 30, at 3:00 pm ET; the 90-minute show will be hosted by Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn. The critically-acclaimed musical partnership features two stellar musicians: Fleck, a fifteen-time GRAMMY Award winner who has taken the instrument across multiple genres, and Washburn, a singer-songwriter and clawhammer banjo player who re-radicalized it by combining it with Far East culture and sounds.

“Although we have had to make major adjustments to our production this year, we are truly proud to present the virtual 2020 Industry Awards Show and Distinguished Achievement Awards to music fans across the world,” said Chris Keenan, IBMA Industry Awards Show producer. “We’re especially excited to feature Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn as show emcees, who will certainly keep the viewers entertained and engaged.”

The Industry Awards recognize outstanding work in categories including Broadcaster of the Year, Event of the Year, Graphic Designer of the Year, Liner Notes of the Year, Writer of the Year, Sound Engineer of the Year, and Songwriter of the Year.

Additionally, the show features a segment honoring the recipients of the 2020 Distinguished Achievement Awards: festival pioneers Norman & Judy Adams, “Musicians Against Childhood Cancer” (MACC) founders Darrel & Phyllis Adkins, fiddle virtuoso/educator Darol Anger, San Diego’s KSON “Bluegrass Special” host Wayne Rice, and bluegrass innovator Jack Tottle.

The livestream will feature a performance by Crying Uncle, and special appearances from Henhouse Prowlers’ Ben Wright (on behalf of Leadership Bluegrass) and artist Becky Buller (on behalf of the IBMA Foundation.)

The 2020 Industry Awards are sponsored by Homespun Tapes.

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 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 Conference, IBMA 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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