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Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass


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2017 Wide Open Bluegrass features Steep Canyon Rangers, Steve Martin, The Infamous Stringdusters and many more

If bluegrass music has a Super Bowl, it’s the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass week — the world’s largest urban bluegrass festival. The festival kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 26, with the Bluegrass Ramble and wraps up Friday, Sept. 29, and Saturday, Sept. 30, with Wide Open Bluegrass 2017 presented by PNC at the Red Hat Amphitheater in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.

In between is a business conference featuring Greensboro’s own Rhiannon Giddens as the keynote speaker and exhibits at the Raleigh Convention Center, as well as the 28th Annual IBMA Awards Show hosted by Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn — acclaimed artists in their respective careers and GRAMMY winners in their duo work — Thursday night at the Duke Performing Arts Center.

No self-respecting North Carolina event is complete without barbecue. The North Carolina Pork Council will once again host the 2017 Whole Hog Barbecue Championship as part of Wide Open Bluegrass. The best whole hog barbecue chefs in North Carolina square off to become state champion. After the judges have had their say, the mouth-watering barbecue will be chopped and sold in sandwiches Saturday to festival attendees.

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Scythian, Forlorn Strangers to give Wide Open Bluegrass preview at Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh on Saturday, July 15

If you can hardly wait for Sept. 26-30 and the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World of Bluegrass Festival and PNC’s Wide Open Bluegrass, the weekend festival on Sept. 29-30 in downtown Raleigh that takes place during the IBMA event, you’re in luck.

You can catch two of the Wide Open Bluegrass acts — MerleFest favorite Celtic roots rockers Scythian and Nashville’s Forlorn Strangers — at a “Save the Date” party beginning at 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh. This all-ages show will also serve as a CD Release Party for Scythian’s newest album, “Dance All Night.”

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World of Bluegrass/IBMA Awards/Wide Open Bluegrass return Sept. 27-Oct. 1 to Raleigh, North Carolina

This year’s World of Bluegrass/IBMA Awards/Wide Open Bluegrass events return to Raleigh, North Carolina, on Sept. 27 – Oct. 1.  Following is the Business Conference schedule, the Red Hat concert schedule and the Bluegrass Ramble schedule. The IBMA Awards are set for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Duke Energy Center and will be hosted by Dan Tyminski and Sierra Hull.

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