Bluegrass festival lineup gets some more national star power and a local favorite

Gillian Welch and David Rawlings at the Filmore Theater. Welch has been announced as a performer for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass in 2018.
Gillian Welch and David Rawlings at the Filmore Theater. Welch has been announced as a performer for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s World of Bluegrass in 2018.

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World of Bluegrass 2018

The International Bluegrass Music Association conference, awards ceremony, Bluegrass Ramble and World of Bluegrass is in Raleigh, NC, Sept. 25-29, 2018. Find our stories here.

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World of Bluegrass just picked up some extra national and local star power with the addition of Gillian Welch and Chatham County Line.

They'll both be part of the Red Hat Amphitheater main stage lineup during the International Bluegrass Music Association's Wide Open Bluegrass on Sept. 28-29.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Welch will be part of an all-female "Special Collaboration," making what is billed as a special guest appearance alongside Molly Tuttle, Sierra Hull, Becky Buller, Alison Brown and Missy Raines. They're all the first women to win IBMA awards as instrumentalists, including reigning guitarist Tuttle and mandolinist Hull.

IBMA Mandolin Player of the Year Sierra Hull plays "A Little Too Far" during her Wide Open Bluegreass set at Raleigh, N.C.'s Red Hat Amphitheater Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017.

Meanwhile, there's also "Chatham County Line & Friends," featuring the popular Raleigh quartet that has become an IBMA fixture over the years. Among the "& Friends" appearing this time will be Mandolin Orange, who just played a sold-out show at Raleigh's NC Museum of Art this past weekend.

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Flatt Lonesome, another IBMA award winner, also has been added to the Wide Open Bluegrass main-stage lineup. They've won vocal group of the year the past two years. Ricky Skaggs, Patty Loveless and reigning IBMA Entertainer of the Year Earls of Leicester were previously announced for the Red Hat shows.

IBMA Guitar Player of the Year Molly Tuttle and her band play in the California Bluegrass Association suite Friday night, Sept. 30, 2017 after playing two shows earlier in the day at Wide Open Bluegrass.

This year's festival, the sixth year in Raleigh, will be Sept. 25-29.

Wide Open Bluegrass is the outdoor part of World of Bluegrass, featuring a free street festival as well as the Red Hat lineup. Preceding it is the "Bluegrass Ramble" of nightclub acts, keynote speaker Jamie Dailey and the IBMA Awards, hosted this year by the band Hot Rize.

Last month, IBMA extended its contract with the city of Raleigh to keep the event here through 2021.

Drone footage and highlights from Raleigh’s Wide Open Bluegrass festival featuring clawhammer guitar by Molly Tuttle Saturday, September 30, 2017.

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Last year's World of Bluegrass events — business convention, nightclub performances, awards show and Wide Open Bluegrass — drew a total estimated attendance of more than 221,000. That generated $11.7 million in direct visitor spending, according to the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB).

The five-year totals for World of Bluegrass are more than 856,000 in attendance and $48.8 million in direct visitor spending.

Tickets are on sale now at WorldOfBluegrass.org.

John DeLuca and his wife Sandy, who are both visually impaired, had guides with them while attending Wide Open Bluegrass in downtown Raleigh Friday, Sept. 29 2017. PineCone, the organization that produces Wide Open Bluegrass in conjunction with th

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi
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