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Wide Open Bluegrass Music Festival

"If bluegrass music moves you, come to the conference that moves bluegrass music."

About the Festival

The 2015 Wide Open Bluegrass festival was one for the books! Stay tuned to this page for all of the information on the 2016 festival as it becomes available. In the meantime here are 2015's festivities:

2016 Festival Date: September 30 - October 1, 2016

2015 Festival Date: October 2 - 3, 2015

Don't miss the perfect combination of banjos, barbecue, and family fun at Wide Open Bluegrass, the nation's ultimate bluegrass music festival. The Wide Open Bluegrass music festival is part of IBMA's World of Bluegrass event, which also includes the IBMA Business Conference, Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, and Bluegrass Ramble.

Hundreds of fans and artists come to Raleigh, North Carolina to enjoy the festival's amazing performances, food, and networking opportunities. Wide Open Bluegrass focuses on expanding the bluegrass community and providing endless possibilities for its musicians and professionals as well as supporting local artists and restaurants.

Ticketed Events

The main stages of the Raleigh Convention Center and Red Hat Amphitheater will feature some of the best bluegrass lineups around. Ticketed events include a Wide Open Jam featuring Alison Krauss & Union Station, The Sam Bush Band, Jerry Douglas, The Gibson Brothers, Balsam Range, The Infamous Stringdusters, and many more!

Ticketed Events Schedule

Free Events

Live Performances

Enjoy over 50 local, national, and international musicians at the Wide Open Bluegrass Street Festival for free! Four stages inside the Raleigh Convention Center with shoe-tapping bluegrass. Head over to the dance tent on Salisbury Street to watch clogging performances or take part in square dances and late-night open dancing.

Music Schedule

IBMA Exhibit Hall

Bluegrass fanatics who come downtown for the free street fair can also stop by the IBMA exhibit hall, which features fiddles, guitars, and many other products from major instrument manufacturers and dozens of bluegrass-related businesses.

North Carolina Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship

The leading 30 whole hog cooking teams in North Carolina will battle hog to hog to determine the pork barbecue cooking champion. Spectators can watch the cook-off and judging process in the parking area in front of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. The cooked barbecue will be collected after judging, chopped, and then sold to the general public with the proceeds benefitting the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. You don't want to miss this festival favorite!

Art Market

The Wide Open Bluegrass Art Market is an intimate showcase designed to recognize North Carolina's talented and enthusiastic arts community. The art market features local artists as well as unique artisans from across the United States.

Bluegrass Ramble

Named after a famous Bill Monroe instrumental, the Bluegrass Ramble is an evening showcase event where convention attendees and local fans will be able to “ramble” around Raleigh for five nights, sampling great bluegrass music on six downtown stages.

Admission to the Bluegrass Ramble is available to both IBMA Business Conference attendees (with ID) and to the general public via Bluegrass Ramble showcase wristbands.

Dedicated Transportation Shuttle

Provided by the City of Raleigh, a shuttle for Bluegrass Ramble attendees will run non-stop between hotels and showcase venues. The Ramble-dedicated transportation will be available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during World of Bluegrass 2015 from 6:00pm until 2:00am.

IBMA Business Conference

The main event at World of Bluegrass is the IBMA Business Conference, which is known as the premier bluegrass industry event and trade show. Attendees have the opportunity to network and meet various agents, artists, and promoters. There are seminars and workshops that cover everything from signing your first deal to copy write law. If you're looking to book a gig, find a picker, or simply get involved in the bluegrass community, this is the place to be.


There are several parking lots and garages conveniently located around The Raleigh Convention Center and Red Hat Amphitheater. Depending on where you park, attendees can expect to pay a daily parking fee of $5.00 to $15.00 per day.

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