PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass


PineCone serves as the official "Local Host" for the International Bluegrass Music Association's World of Bluegrass and as producer of the PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass festival.

Headquartered in Nashville, TN, the IBMA relies on support from its partners in Raleigh, NC, to assist with various aspects of event planning, production, and promotions. With a full-time professional staff, large base of public support, and extensive experience presenting bluegrass music programming in the Raleigh region, PineCone was identified early on as a key asset for IBMA and was named the official "Local Host" in 2013 and has served in that role for each successive year. PineCone staff and Board members also serve on the Local Organizing Committee, a volunteer organization made up of business and community leaders from Raleigh and beyond who are tasked with supporting IBMA to make the organization and its members feel welcome in Raleigh.

PineCone books the talent and manages logistics and production for PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass - a city-wide celebration of bluegrass music featuring 100+ musical performances on six stages, a dance tent, arts & food vendors, youth activities, jam sessions, workshops, educational panels, and more. Wide Open Bluegrass is presented in partnership with IBMA, plus the City of Raleigh, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Raleigh Convention Center, and a local organizing committee.

Photo: Crowds pack Fayetteville Street for the Wide Open Bluegrass street festival Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Credit GRCVB

Photo: Crowds pack Fayetteville Street for the Wide Open Bluegrass street festival Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. Credit GRCVB

According to reports by the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, more than 180,000 people attended the Wide Open Bluegrass in 2014, with more than 88,000 visitors from outside Wake County. The combined World of Bluegrass events generated an estimated $10.8 million in direct visitor spending for Raleigh and Wake County, which does not include local spending, nor does it include a multiplier of indirect and induced impacts. Downtown Raleigh Alliance presented the 2014 Economic Development Award to the City of Raleigh, Raleigh Convention Center, Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, and PineCone for our collective roles in bringing the World of Bluegrass to Raleigh and working to ensure the event’s success. 

For festival schedules, tickets, and general information, visit

Illustration of Sir Walter Raleigh playing a banjo. PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, Sept. 29-30, 2017 (IBMA logo in upper right corner.) 2017 World of Bluegrass' Weekend Festival. Main Stage; Downtown Raleigh; StreetFest

The 2017 festival lineup will be announced this summer, and it will once again feature an array of bluegrass styles, from traditional to progressive and from emerging artists to IBMA Hall of Famers.

Wide Open Bluegrass is an urban bluegrass event that includes both ticketed main stage performances at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater and free stages. A portion of proceeds from the ticket sales of the main stage performances at Red Hat Amphitheater go to the IBMA-operated Bluegrass Trust Fund, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to individuals in the bluegrass music community in times of emergency need.

Single day general admission for performances at Red Hat Amphitheater during Wide Open Bluegrass starts as low as $60 for the general public and $50 for IBMA members. Additional details and pricing information - including member discounts and two-day festival passes for Red Hat Amphitheater performances; Bluegrass Ramble Showcase passes; IBMA Business Conference registration; IBMA Award Show tickets; and hotel reservations are available at IBMA’s website, Tickets for all events go on sale now on Tuesday, April 18 and may be purchased at or 1-800-514-3849.

What is IBMA's World of Bluegrass?

IBMA’s World of Bluegrass event, a five-day annual bluegrass music homecoming and convention, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 26 – 28 ; the 28th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday, September 28; PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, September 29 – 30 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 26 – 28 in downtown Raleigh and the Raleigh Convention Center.

IBMA is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community. The organization’s six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Raleigh Convention Center, PineCone (The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music), the City of Raleigh, and a local organizing committee. For more information:

IBMA Business Conference and Bluegrass Ramble

September 26-30, 2017
Raleigh Convention Center
Raleigh, North Carolina

The IBMA Business Conference is the premier industry event and trade show where top bluegrass professionals—including artists, agents, journalists, merchandisers, record labels, publicists, publishers, talent buyers and more—come to share and discover the latest tools, strategies, technology and sounds. 

  • Discounted conference registration for first-time attendees.
  • Cutting-edge seminars, panels and workshops on business models, touring, festivals, marketing, radio, copyright, digital media, contract negotiation and more.
  • Focused content tracks for Talent Buyers, Songwriters and CLE Training.
  • Health Fair with FREE vision exams AND EYEWEAR, dental exams and custom ear plug fittings.
  • Special events, including the Gig Fair (like speed dating for artists and talent buyers), DJ Taping Session, and Song Critique Session
  • Sponsored and official Afternoon Showcases in the Raleigh Convention Center
  • Business-to-Business (B2B) Exhibit Hall
  • Town Hall Meeting and Special constituency meetings with fellow professionals in your field.
  • Keynote Address and reception
  • Momentum and Special Awards luncheons
  • Networking receptions and Happy Hours
  • And MORE!

Bluegrass Ramble

September 26-28, 2017
Downtown Raleigh/Raleigh Convention Center

The Bluegrass Ramble is IBMA’s innovative series of showcases in clubs and restaurants throughout downtown Raleigh.  Official showcase performances at the IBMA's annual World of Bluegrass Business Conference form the premier platform for introducing talent and new music to the bluegrass community.


  • 30 official IBMA showcase bands in an authentic live music environment
  • Additional talent booked by Ramble co-sponsors
  • Dedicated transportation system, the Bluegrass Express, running nonstop between hotels and Bluegrass Ramble venues, 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Provided by the city of Raleigh
  • Two official showcase stages in the Raleigh Convention Center
  • At least one Raleigh Convention Center performance by each official IBMA showcase act
  • Privileged access to all showcases with full business conference registration
  • Ramble-only passes also available

With over 150 showcase performances, the World of Bluegrass’ Bluegrass Ramble Showcase is an integral part of the World of Bluegrass week that you won’t want to miss!

The 28th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Memorial Auditorium
Raleigh, North Carolina

The International Bluegrass Music Awards Show is the biggest night on the bluegrass calendar. The show will be held once again at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.  The awards recognize outstanding achievement and pioneering efforts in the genre as determined by professionals in the bluegrass music industry.  Held annually since 1986, today almost two dozen awards are handed out to recognize the top achievements across the industry. 

The International Bluegrass Music Awards Show features outstanding performances by the best in bluegrass and once-in-a-lifetime moments, such as Tony Rice's indescribably poignant Hall of Fame acceptance speech in 2013.  The house is always packed, so be sure to grab tickets quickly for this one.  Celebrate bluegrass music at the IBMA Awards!  

PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass

September 29-30, 2017
Red Hat Amphitheater/downtown Raleigh/Raleigh Convention Center
Raleigh, North Carolina

Wide Open Bluegrass is the urban bluegrass music festival that closes out the IBMA's World of Bluegrass week in beautiful downtown Raleigh!  Jointly produced by the IBMA and Raleigh’s Local Organizing Committee, the festival (formerly known as FanFest), features the best in our traditional and acoustic music community. PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass includes ticketed performances at the Red Hat Amphitheater - proceeds of which support the Bluegrass Trust Fund, a non-profit organization helping bluegrass professionals in times of need - and free performances on six stages along Fayetteville Street.