IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Event Moving To Raleigh in 2013

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass Event Moving To Raleigh in 2013

On May 16, the IBMA Board of Directors announced plans to move World of Bluegrass events to Raleigh, North Carolina for the next three years, 2013-2015.

IBMA's “World of Bluegrass Week” includes the four-day IBMA Business Conference, the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show, and the three-day Bluegrass Fan Fest. Our annual industry summit/ bluegrass family reunion draws more than 16,000 attendees, providing opportunities for showcasing, professional development and networking at the largest concentrated week of powerful, live bluegrass music on the planet.

The following World of Bluegrass dates have been announced, with the option for a five- or seven-day event each year:  

September 24 - 28, 2013

September 30 - October 4, 2014

September 29 - October 3, 2015.

World of Bluegrass 2013-2015 will be hosted at the Raleigh Convention Center, the Raleigh Amphitheater and Memorial Auditorium, with hotel blocks at the Raleigh Marriott City Center, the Sheraton Raleigh and six additional nearby hotels. “If we had designed a perfect venue for our events, it would look a lot like the facilities in Raleigh,” said IBMA Board chair Stan Zdonik.

We can’t wait for our members and friends to see this place! In the months ahead, look for more information about the city of Raleigh as an exciting new venue for World of Bluegrass. Here are just a few of its benefits and attractions:

  • A compact “campus” with options for hosting Fan Fest indoors or outdoors—or both, with more stage options
  • A state-of-the-art, Silver LEED certified convention center that incorporates a bright and open atmosphere (lots of windows and solar panels on the roof!)
  • Substantially lower hotel rates, with the host hotel at $139/night and other lodging in our block as low as $66/night. The Raleigh Marriott City Center is connected to the Raleigh Convention Center and the Sheraton Raleigh is half a block away across the street, connected by an underground walkway (both $139/night).  The Clarion Hotel State Capital ($85) is five blocks away.  MORE: The Hampton Inn Glenwood Avenue (1 mile, $139), the Doubletree by Hilton Brownstone (2 miles, $154), the Hilton North Raleigh (5 miles, $101), Holiday Inn Express-Suites NCSU (2 miles, $89.99), Red Roof Inn NCSU (1 mile, $65.99). Note: These rates will not be available until spring 2013. 
  • Plenty of parking at the Raleigh Convention Center, $7/day
  • Free shuttle rides in downtown Raleigh to its five entertainment districts. This shuttle also has access to the Marriott, Sheraton, Clarion and Hampton.
  • Free Wi-Fi for individual World of Bluegrass attendees in the lobby of the Raleigh Convention Center and in designated outside hotspots downtown
  • Substantial savings and value from Raleigh both for individual World of Bluegrass attendees and for our trade association as a whole, plus help with media promotion and sponsorship connections
  • A strong network of volunteers already working bluegrass concerts at PineCone events (Piedmont Council of Traditional Music)
  • A performing arts hall-style venue for the IBMA Awards, with a few more (and softer) seats
  • Accessible by air, interstate highway or Amtrak
  • And more!

We’re looking forward to working with a local organizing committee in Raleigh to plan World of Bluegrass and a city-wide celebration, with showcase and performance opportunities for dozens of bands in the Raleigh Convention Center, the headquarter hotels, local schools, and up and down the streets in local music clubs and cafes.

North Carolina has a rich bluegrass music history. A number of our Bluegrass Hall of Fame members hail from the Tar Heel State, including Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Red Smiley, Carlton Haney, Curly Seckler, Carl Story and George Shuffler.  Pre-bluegrass pioneers Wade Mainer and Charlie Poole are from North Carolina, and the Monroe Brothers (Charlie and Bill) made their first recordings in Charlotte, N.C.—including the classic “What Would You Give in Exchange for Your Soul?” Some argue that Bill Monroe might not have made it to the Opry to unveil his new genre of music if not for Raleigh, N.C.—the place where he and his brother Charlie famously parted ways in 1938, beginning the chain of events that would lead the younger brother to form the Blue Grass Boys.

North Carolina is also the home of Smilin’ Jim Mills, Tony Williamson, Bryan Sutton, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Tony Rice, Balsam Range, The Grass Cats, Kickin Grass Band, Nu-Blu, Steve Dilling, Cindy & Terry Baucom, Lou Reid & Carolina, The Skip Cherryholmes Quintet, Si Kahn, The WBT Briarhoppers, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, The Snyder Family Band, Lorraine Jordan, Tommy Edwards & the Bluegrass Experience, The Shady Grove Band, Town Mountain, The Kruger Brothers, The Avett Brothers, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Chatham County Line, David Holt, the Red Clay Ramblers and more.

World of Bluegrass is moving to Raleigh through 2015, but IBMA’s office will remain in Nashville. IBMA hosted World of Bluegrass events in Owensboro and Louisville, Kentucky before moving to Nashville in 2005. We have a good home in Nashville, and we intend to stay actively involved throughout the year in local efforts to keep a high profile for bluegrass music in Music City, including quarterly “’Bluebird in the Bluegrass’” songwriter rounds at The Bluebird Café, a ‘“September is Worldwide Bluegrass Month’” downtown noon concert organized by the Foundation for Bluegrass Music, and other events produced by local members.

IBMA’s 2012 dates for World of Bluegrass are Sept. 24-30, in Nashville, Tennessee. We invite our members to come to the conference in Nashville, to secure a ticket early for the 23rd International Bluegrass Music Awards at the historic Ryman Auditorium for Sept. 27, and to absolutely enjoy everything Music City has to offer one last time before we move to Raleigh for the next three years. 

Call 615-256-3222 or email for more information, or visit for event updates throughout the summer. For reservations at Nashville’s Renaissance Hotel and surrounding properties during World of Bluegrass 2012, please call 877-259-4716 or (615) 259-4700. Registration for our Nashville event begins this month, on June 1, 2012. Give us a call at 888-GET-IBMA or register online at or

We’ll see you in Nashville this September, and then we’ll put on our traveling shoes and meet in Raleigh in 2013!