It's time for some bluegrass in downtown Raleigh!
This is a huge week for bluegrass fans and performers, including many of the top acts in the genre. They've descended on Raleigh this week for the International Bluegrass Music Association's three-day business conference at Raleigh's convention center.
And while there might be some PowerPoint presentations planned at some point this week, there's also plenty of music on tap too. As the conference wraps up, the party really begins with the two-day IBMA Wide Open Bluegrass festival in downtown Raleigh on Friday and Saturday.
Some of the events require tickets, which are nearly sold out, from what I understand. Tickets are required for the performances in the Raleigh Convention Center and Red Hat Amphitheater. That's where you'll see some of the top bluegrass performers, including Steve Martin (the comedian and actor and bluegrass star) & The Steep Canyon Rangers, The Gibson Brothers, Punch Brothers and more.
But there are plenty of free activities from noon to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday, mostly along Fayetteville Street. The free stuff includes three music stages, a youth talent stage, a barbecue championship, dance tent and more.
Among the highlights for families:
- A dance tent near the intersection of Fayetteville and Morgan streets where jumpy kids can jump up and down to a beat and maybe wear themselves out so you can sit and enjoy some bluegrass on one of the stages. The dance tent opens at noon, Friday, and 1:15 p.m., Saturday, with performances at different times during the day.
- A sports and kids zone will be at Martin and Fayetteville streets.
- A kids zone also is planned on Cabarrus Street next to the convention center with a giant sliding hill.
- The convention center will host a music expo that is free to the public on Friday and Saturday.
- A youth stage on Salisbury Street next to the convention center will feature the next generation of bluegrass talent.
- Near the center stage, a hula rink is planned where you can hula hoop to the music.
For details, click here.