IBMA World of Bluegrass To Go Virtual For 2020

This year’s IBMA World of Bluegrass will be held virtually, with the planned conference, showcases, awards and festival performances to be presented via an online experience Sept. 28-Oct. 3, 2020.

“While we all would love to gather in Raleigh this year for IBMA World of Bluegrass, the extraordinary circumstances made this decision necessary,” said Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of IBMA. “Maintaining the health and safety of the large crowd we enjoy each year would be such an enormous, uncertain, and risky proposition. However, we know how important this week is to our bluegrass professionals and fans, so we are moving forward in new ways. We see this as an opportunity to reimagine every aspect of IBMA World of Bluegrass so we can still connect, educate, showcase, and perform in fun and engaging ways. And we hope to introduce new participants to the types of things we normally do in Raleigh so we can invite them to join us in person for the fun in 2021 and hopefully many years beyond. We deeply appreciate the ongoing partnership of the City of Raleigh, the hotels, PNC Bank, which has been our presenting sponsor since 2013, and the many other important sponsors we have worked with over the years.They help make this the most important week in bluegrass.”

“IBMA World of Bluegrass brings together some of the best and most talented traditional musicians in the world and, for the last seven years, thousands of music lovers and industry leaders have gathered in Raleigh to celebrate everything bluegrass,” said Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin. “And while it’s not possible to gather in person this year, we hope that Raleigh and the IBMA World of Bluegrass events will be at the top of everyone’s travel plans for 2021.”

The nominees for this year’s IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards will also be announced earlier than scheduled, set to be revealed Friday, June 26 at 10 a.m. CT on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction. The second and final round of Official Showcase Artists for the IBMA Bluegrass Ramble, the innovative showcase series that is part of IBMA World of Bluegrass, will be announced on June 18.

Music fans will have access to free live streaming, on-demand sessions and performances of the IBMA Bluegrass Ramble showcases, the 31st Annual IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards and IBMA Bluegrass Live! powered by PNC, a music festival with performers ranging from emerging artists to industry icons.

“We will be working hard to make this year work, and plan to use what we learn about building an online audience to expand the audience for when we’re back on Fayetteville Street,” said David Brower, Executive Director of PineCone, the local Raleigh non-profit music organization that produces the festival. “We hope that this experience will allow people to participate who haven’t been able to travel to Raleigh before, and that this will also inspire them to make plans to join us in Raleigh in 2021.”

The IBMA Business Conference will feature professional development sessions; 1-to-1 and group networking events such as a re-imagined Gig Fair; and a Virtual Exhibit Hall, where attendees and vendors can communicate via chat and video chat, participate in live product demos, purchase merchandise directly from vendors and more.


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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