IBMA’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC – September 24 – 28 – Preview
Below is a re-post of my preview of IBMA’s World of Bluegrass annual convention to be held in Raleigh, NC from September 24 – 28, 2013. Judged by its scope and schedule, this should be the premier bluegrass event in the country from every perspective. Take a look at the preview to see if you agree.
Imagine a great tree. Perhaps it’s that great southern tree the live oak. Its trunk is strong, difficult to cut or split. It grows straight from the ground and branches out with strong limbs that can withstand wind, some fire, and surely the change of seasons. Its leaves grow and stay green while, at the same time growing brown and carpeting the ground beneath with rattling and slowly decaying food for the future. Its roots reach deep into the ground, spreading and holding tight while feeding the tree with nutrients that flow upwards, never stopping. No wind can knock it down. Its branches all draw on the atmosphere around it, taking sustenance from the air, the sunshine, and even the wind. That tree is bluegrass music. The trunk is Bill Monroe. Monroe stands strong on the musical roots he gathered together: mountain song, gospel music, jazz, western swing, rockabilly, and its nearest cousins country music and folk music. The live oak hosts a variety of parasites and saprophytes that live off it. The parasites try their best to kill it, but don’t succeed. The saprophytes live cooperatively with the tree, some thriving while never really becoming a fully functioning part of it. The branches grow further and further apart, reaching for the sky and never ceasing their growth and reach. Not every branch communicates too well, but they all get sustenance from sturdy old Bill Monroe and the roots from which he sprang.
One highlight worth mentioning here is the live radio broadcast being conducted in Room 201 of the Raleigh Convention Center by WAMU’s Bluegrass Country.org. The staff of WAMU has brought a full studio to Raleigh and will broadcast what amounts to a mini-festival from Tuesday through Friday. Broadcasts will feature six bands a day from noon until 3:00 PM. Ticketed attendees are invited to attend. You can see the details and get additional information HERE. (HINT: This is a live broadcast, so silence is requested until the hosts ask for applause. Lots of fun.)
The Bluegrass Ramble
When you click on the map, use the up and down arrows and the in and out arrows to manipulate the map and familiarize yourself with the venues. The direction below are for walking. If you plan to use the “R” bus to get to the Bluegrass Ramble venues, click the Bus button on the map.
Be sure to visit the North Carolina Pavilion, which will be located inside the Exhibit Hall and at Longview. It will include exhibits, a hospitality center, and a stage to include performances by forty bands and over thirty panels. Schedule to come.
The Red Hat Amphitheater
The Street Festival: A free Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival consisting of five parts will take place centered on Fayetteville Street, a traffic free thoroughfare in front of the Marriott and Sheraton Hotels extending down several blocks towards to State Capitol building. The street festival consists of several parts: Live Performances, Free Access to the Exhibit Hall on Friday and Saturday, The Whole Hog State Barbecue Championship, and The WOB Art Market. The live performances take place on five stages along surrounding City Square and are free, although I expect there will be a charge for the Whole Hog Barbecue. The live performances and Exhibit Hall access alone would constitute a full two day bluegrass festival by themselves.
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