Sep 26, 2023 - News

Your guide to the IBMA Bluegrass festival in Raleigh

Musicians playing in downtown Raleigh at the IBMA World of Bluegrass festival. Photo: VisitRaleigh

The banjos have arrived.

Driving the news: The International Bluegrass Music Association's annual conference and music festival kicks off Tuesday in downtown Raleigh, bringing musicians from across the world to the City of Oaks.

Why it matters: The festival — known as the World of Bluegrass — has turned into one of Raleigh's signature cultural events since moving to the city's downtown streets and convention center in 2013.

🗣 Conference: For the next three days, the association's annual conference will host industry talks and exhibitions. A paid ticket will be required to attend.

🪕 Ramble: The conference includes the Bluegrass Ramble, which includes dozens of up-and-coming bands and artists around town.

  • The Ramble, which also requires a ticket, will take place Sept. 26-28 and include performances at venues across downtown.
  • The IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards will be held on Sept. 28 at the Martin Marietta Center for the Performing Arts.

🎉 IBMA Bluegrass Live!: The festival concludes on Sept. 29-30 with IBMA Bluegrass Live!, a free concert series on six stages around Fayetteville Street and a street festival.

  • Headlining acts — like Molly Tuttle and the The Del McCoury Band — will play at Red Hat Amphitheater. General admission is free, though reserved seats are ticketed.

🛍 Additionally, the IBMA Exhibit Hall in the Raleigh Convention Center will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday, with vendors selling musical gear and products.

Flashback: Last year, Hurricane Ian led to nearly all of the festivities being moved indoors.


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