And so it begins: The first official event leading to the International Bluegrass Music Association's conference and music festival in Raleigh in late September happens tonight. Three downtown Raleigh venues will host viewing parties for the announcement of the 2013 IBMA award nominees.
Though the awards themselves have moved, this year's announcement ceremonies remain in Nashville, at the Loveless Cafe. North Carolina native Jim Lauderdale and newgrass innovator Sam Bush will host. The festivities begin at 6 p.m., and they'll be shown locally at Irregardless Cafe, Tir Na Nog and the Lincoln Theatre.
The Long Rifle Bluegrass band will perform at Irregardless after the announcements, while Tir Na Nog will have a BBQ special to celebrate the event. Cindy and Terry Baucom will host a Q&A session about the festival. You can stream the announcement at Music City Roots.
The festival runs Sept. 24-28 in downtown Raleigh, with an industry conference taking place at the Convention Center alongside showcases and featured performances happening throughout various venues downtown. For more information, visit IBMA.org.