Wide Open Bluegrass is back in Raleigh

This weekend, downtown Raleigh will come alive with the sounds of bluegrass.

Wide Open Bluegrass, a two-day street festival offering free concerts on seven stages across downtown, draws the world's greatest bluegrass musicians to the City of Oaks.


Festivities actually started on Tuesday as the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) is in town for its annual IBMA Business Conference and awards show.

See a full list of free performances and ticketed performances on the main stage at Red Hat Amphitheater.

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Earlier this summer, after five successful years of Raleigh playing host to World of Bluegrass, IBMA announced it would keep Wide Open Bluegrass in Raleigh through 2021.

"Raleigh has fallen in love with bluegrass, and I think it's fair to say that bluegrass is in love with Raleigh," said Mayor Nancy McFarlane.

McFarlane said World of Bluegrass draws the most people to Raleigh, with more than 221,000 people attending in 2017.

Over its first five years, McFarlane said the festival generated more than $48 million for Wake County.

Other events at World of Bluegrass include the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship hosted by the North Carolina Pork Council and the Sir Walter Raleigh Banjo Stand.

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