What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Raleigh to be hub for bluegrass events in 2013

Posted May 16, 2012

Downtown Raleigh will be the center of the bluegrass universe starting next year.

Organizers have described the World of Bluegrass as part industry summit and part bluegrass family reunion.

The World of Bluegrass includes a four-day International Bluegrass Music Association Business Conference, the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show and a three-day Bluegrass Fan Fest. 

IBMA Interim Executive Director Nancy Cardwell said the event typically draws more than 16,000 attendees “for the largest concentrated week of powerful, live bluegrass music on the planet."

Raleigh will host the World of Bluegrass for the next three years. The dates are as follows: 

  • Sept. 23-29, 2013
  • Sept. 29-Oct. 5, 2014
  • Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2015

World of Bluegrass has the option for five- or seven-day events each year.

Events will be held at the Raleigh Convention Center, the Raleigh Amphitheater and Memorial Auditorium.

Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the city expects to see nearly $10 million in economic impact from each event.

“This will be truly a seminal event. Raleigh is a fabulous music town. North Carolina’s roots are steeped in traditional and bluegrass music," McFarlane said. 

The World of Bluegrass has been held in Nashville since 2005. Before that, the festival was held in Owensboro and Louisville, Ky.


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  • southerntalent May 17, 2012

    in the 70s bluegrass festivals were held in a huge field,the doc watson festival in north wilkesboro is a great festival

  • Jim Britt May 17, 2012


  • PineCone May 17, 2012

    You don't have to wait for World of Bluegrass to experience some great bluegrass right here in Raleigh! The Gibson Brothers will be in Fletcher Theater (Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts) on March 1, 2013; and the Del McCoury Band will be in Meymandi Concert Hall (Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts) on April 4, 2013; tickets for both shows will be on sale in August! Details: https://www.pinecone.org/down-home-series.php

  • dwntwnboy May 17, 2012

    Should be a great event and we get it for 3 years too! May be a chance to see some great bluegrass acts that normally wouldn't come through the area. Our little town is growning :-)

  • flemingjames May 17, 2012

    Go Grass Cats!

  • nomorethanthat May 17, 2012

    Well rbsmith5, the leglislature and voters of NC already did - Amendment 1.

  • Hippy_mom May 16, 2012

    rlsmith5, that's a good one! Let's just hope they don't start with the Eastern NC BBQ vs. Western NC BBQ.

  • rlsmith5 May 16, 2012

    Don't let our Legislature find out about this or they will find a way to mess it up.

  • btpearce May 16, 2012

    Great news for a change :-)

  • 37 May 16, 2012

    That's really great! Anytime the city can bring in a cultural event or convention, we benefit. This meets both of those needs. We will be glad to have them here.