One of the highlights of every year is the World of Bluegrass, the wonderful week-long event produced annually by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in Raleigh, NC, launching September 28. But this year, the CBA has been watching rising Covid rates in North Carolina with concern. On August 19, the IBMA issued new health and safety rules for the World of Bluegrass, which includes a trade show, fan-fest and business conference, all around the beautiful downtown area in Raleigh. The IBMA appropriately announced that it will now require proof of vaccination and mandatory masks for anyone attending any IBMA event. The City of Raleigh is also mandating masks inside all business venues. We applaud the IBMA for taking these steps to keep attendees and performers as safe as possible. http://www.ibma.org
Unfortunately, children under 12 still are not able to access vaccination, so the Youth Programs are being planned in a virtual setting rather than as in-person events. We know how disappointing this is for our young musicians and fans, so the CBA has stepped up to help the IBMA produce some exciting virtual activities. We will continue to work with KOB co-directors Deanie Richardson and Kimber Ludiker to produce a KOB (Kids on Bluegrass) video and – hopefully — produce workshops and concerts. We are all scrambling to provide quality musical activities for our young people, and will announce the schedule when complete.
The CBA Board reluctantly needed to cancel the live activities that we had planned for the World of Bluegrass, which had included a booth in the Exhibition Hall and showcases performances at the Marriott Hotel. Instead, the Board decided it’s best to put our resources and energy into the planned youth activities. We’re all looking forward to coming back to Raleigh next year!