World of Bluegrass concerts at Red Hat will be free this year

March 12, 2019
The Wide Open Blue Grass Festival featuring Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless, and Leftover Salmon was hosted in downtown Raleigh N.C. on September 28 and 29th of 2018 (Chris Baird/WRAL Contributor).

World of Bluegrass organizers announced Tuesday that, in a new move this year, nightly performances at Red Hat Amphitheater will be free to the public for the duration of the downtown Raleigh festival.

The International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass Festival, which takes place Sept. 24-28, always features seven stages of music that are free to the public. But this year, the nightly performances by premier bluegrass artists at Red Hat will also be free.

“With the help of our Raleigh partners and key sponsors, IBMA is transitioning our festival to a free, mission-forward event - taking bluegrass to the masses by reducing all barriers to participation,” said Paul Schiminger, IBMA’s executive director. “All are welcome to come hear the best in bluegrass music today.”

The shows at Red Hat begin at 5 p.m. nightly each day of the festival, and lawn seating will be open on a first-come-first-served basis until the venue has reached capacity. A limited number of seats in prime sections will be offered between $50 and $60 per ticket for IBMA members or between $60 and $70 for non-members.

Additional details about the festival, including acts, will be released in coming weeks.

In May, organizers announced that World of Bluegrass will remain in Raleigh until 2021 -- at least. Since the festival moved to Raleigh in 2013, Mayor Nancy McFarlane said the festival has attracted nearly 860,000 attendees and generated a $48 million economic impact in the city.

“Raleigh has fallen in love with bluegrass and it’s safe to say bluegrass has fallen in love with Raleigh,” McFarlane said.