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.