Twenty thousand fans and music industry professionals from around the globe will converge on the Nashville Convention Center from September 27 through October 3 for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) World of Bluegrass. The week is equal parts homecoming, family reunion, expo, business conference, celebration and music festival, highlighted by the International Bluegrass Music Awards which honor the year’s most outstanding talent.
The theme for World of Bluegrass 2010 is “Face Time, It Matters,” because the event is all about relationships within the business of bluegrass music. IBMA events are where everyone in the industry meets to sharpen and share their professional skills.
Legendary mandolinist Sam Bush will deliver the keynote address for World of Bluegrass 2010. The 100th birthday of Bill Monroe, widely recognized as the father of bluegrass music, is just around the corner, on September 13, 2011. Bush will talk about what that milestone means to the bluegrass music community and how we might best celebrate a century of Monroe’s influence.
Showcases from The Boxcars, Brand New Strings, The Chapmans, Cherryholmes, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, The Cockman Family, Rodney Dillard, the Downtown Ramblers, The John Hartford Stringband, The Infamous Stringdusters, Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, The Claire Lynch Band, Kati Penn & NewTown, Lou Reid & Carolina, The Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, The Snyder Family Band, Summertown Road, Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa and The Darrell Webb Band will be highlighted during the week, in addition to scores of privately-hosted shows.
Thirty seminars and educational labs will provide a spirited forum on topics ranging from “How to be a Better Broadcaster and Developing a Business Plan,” to “Using Video to Expand your Business.” Also included are a Website Critique, Branding & Marketing, Parenting Talented Bluegrass Kids, Web & Catalog Marketing and more.
The 21st anniversary of the IBMAs is the high point of the week, when the music comes home to the historical Ryman Auditorium on Thursday evening, Sept. 30. The show is also broadcast live on Sirius/XM and around the world via a syndicated radio network. According to show co-producers Cindy Baucom and Trisha Tubbs, “You dont want to miss the 2010 IBMA Awards Show! Its going to be a one-of-a-kind experience all about amazing music, reunion moments, special guests and performances that will create lasting memories.”
The weekend (Oct. 1-3) kicks off with the Bluegrass Fan Fest, sponsored in part by Martha White Foods, Martin Guitars and Knee Deep in Bluegrass. Inside the Nashville Convention Center, fans will enjoy music from more than 60 acts on three stages, including the Main Stage, the Masters Workshop Stage and the Grand Master Fiddler Championship. A 100-booth expo center is the place to browse and buy the latest music gear, publications, recordings and merchandise while meeting artists at their booths in between performances.
Featured acts confirmed at press time include the award-winning talents of Dailey & Vincent, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Michael Cleveland & Flame Keeper, Dale Ann Bradley, Tony Rice, The SteelDrivers, Cherryholmes, Lonesome River Band, The Isaacs, Danny Paisley & Southern Grass, Josh Williams Band, Junior Sisk & Ramblers Choice, The Boxcars, The Claire Lynch Band, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Grasstowne, G-2 and Barry Scott & Second Wind. Additional acts will be announced throughout the summer.
Returning to the festival is the popular Fan Feast breakfast on Friday morning, Oct. 1. For only $25, fans can enjoy breakfast served by the biggest stars in bluegrass.
Proceeds from Fan Fest ticket sales benefit the Bluegrass Trust Fund, established to help bluegrass professionals during times of emergency need, as well as support IBMA’s marketing and educational events to promote the music year-round. All artists appearing at the event donate their time and talents for the cause.
Tickets for all events are available at www.ibma.org or by calling 1-888-GET-IBMA. For discount rates on accommodations, call the event housing bureau at 1-877-259-4716. A full schedule of events is available here. Check out the video below for a good introduction to this important annual industry gathering.