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

PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, Friday & Saturday, September 30-October 1, 2016, IBMA - International Bluegrass Music Association; an illustration of a squirrel playing a banjo is between the words Wide and Open, above Bluegrass

The 2016 festival lineup showcases an array of bluegrass styles, from traditional to progressive and from emerging artists to IBMA Hall of Famers, including: The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Del McCoury Band, Soggy Bottom Boys (from the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack), Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Steep Canyon Rangers, John Cowan, and Greensky Bluegrass.

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 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 are on sale now and may be purchased at or 1-800-514-3849.

The 2016 lineup at the ticketed main stage in Red Hat Amphitheater includes:

Friday, September 30 

  • Dailey & Vincent. Multiple IBMA Award winners and GRAMMY nominees Dailey & Vincent perform their entertaining mix of bluegrass, country and gospel music.
  • Jerry Douglas presents Earls of Leicester. Dobro master Jerry Douglas and his bluegrass supergroup the Earls of Leicesterreturn as the 2015 IBMA Entertainers of the Year, ready to share material from their upcoming release on Rounder Records, Rattle and Roll.
  • Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands with special guest Alice Gerrard. Two-time IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year, Lewis is one of the leading singers and songwriters in bluegrass music today. She will be joined by special guest – GRAMMY-nominated Alice Gerrard, a traditionalist who’s enjoyed an illustrious career spanning 50 years.
  • Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives. Five-time GRAMMY winning multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Marty Stuart explores the crossroads of bluegrass and traditional country.
  • Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.  As part of their 50th anniversary tour, the iconic and profoundly influential Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, often cited as a catalyst for an entire movement in country, rock and American roots music, will draw from their legendary catalog of hit songs. Their groundbreaking 1972 Will The Circle Be Unbroken album has been inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame. Special guests to be announced later.
  • Peter Rowan Band. Rowan’s storied career in bluegrass music spans more than five decades, from his early years with Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys to his time in Old in the Way with Jerry Garcia to fronting his own bluegrass band.
  • Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder. The Grand Ole Opry member and recipient of nearly every musical honor (including multiple IBMA and GRAMMY awards), is also a published author.
  • Soggy Bottom Boys.  For fans of the blockbuster film O Brother, Where Art Thou? and its Grammy-winning soundtrack hit “Man of Constant Sorrow,” the Soggy Bottom Boys unite for a rare live performance. The band features Dan Tyminski (singing voice for actor George Clooney), Barry Bales and Ron Block of Alison Krauss & Union Station; and Pat Enright, Mike Compton, and Stuart Duncan of the Nashville Bluegrass Band. 

Saturday, October 1

  • Becky Buller Band. Current IBMA Songwriter of the Year and Emerging Artist of the Year, Becky Buller is quickly rising among the ranks of bluegrass music’s premier singers and songwriters.
  • Greensky Bluegrass.  Highlighting the genre’s progressive side, Greensky Bluegrass explores the creative space between tradition and innovation, formula and improvisation, and bluegrass and rock sensibilities.
  • John Cowan with Darin & Brooke Aldridge. Newgrass music pioneer and Doobie Brother John Cowan teams up with North Carolina’s own bluegrass duo Darin & Brooke Aldridge for a special set, with other guests to be announced.
  • Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers.  Larry Sparks is IBMA’s newest inductee into its Bluegrass Hall of Fame, with 50+ years in the industry.
  • Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out.  Celebrating 25 years with a chart topping album It’s About Tyme. Moore is the IBMA’s most awarded Male Vocalist of the Year (5-time career).
  • Steep Canyon Rangers. GRAMMY-winning Steep Canyon Rangers are enjoying the success of their ninth studio album, RADIO, a project that further illustrates the band’s dynamic songwriting, instrumental virtuosity and high-energy performance. Recorded at Asheville, NC’s Echo Mountain Recording Studio, RADIO was produced by Jerry Douglas.
  • The Del McCoury Band. A true American icon and most awarded band in the history of bluegrass.
  • The Kruger Brothers with Symphony of the Mountains. Fan favorites and acoustic music innovators The Kruger Brothers are cooking up a very special program for the festival including a performance of "Spirit of the Rockies," Jens Kruger's composition inspired by the Canadian Rockies.

Learn more about this year's performers on IBMA's website.

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 27 – 29 ; the 27th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday, September 29; PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass, September 30 – October 1 (which includes both free stages and ticketed festival performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 27 – 29 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 27-October 1, 2016
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 27-29, 2016
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 27th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards

Thursday, September 29, 2016
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 30-October 1, 2016
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.