Last year, the International Bluegrass Music Association tapped Bela Fleck as World of Bluegrass keynote speaker even though he admitted he was uncomfortable speaking rather than playing in public. Fleck did fine, but this year’s keynote speaker should have no angst about it at all.
IBMA’s 2015 keynote speaker will be Nick Forster from Hot Rize, the venerable and eclectic Colorado bluegrass band that reunited after nearly a quarter-century in 2014. Forster is also the longtime host/founder of the environmental radio program eTown.
“I’ve been really fortunate to have been in the bluegrass world for so long, starting out as a scrappy kid who was ready to learn anything and do anything (including driving the bus and showing up on time) to keep things moving forward,” Forster said in a statement. “I’ve had great partners and mentors along the way, but I assume that one of the reasons that I’ve been asked to speak this year is that now, more than ever, we all have to be scrappy, creative and nimble to make it all work out.”
Forster’s keynote speech will be at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at the Raleigh Convention Center to kick off the IBMA business conference part of World of Bluegrass.