At a press conference in Raleigh this afternoon, representatives from the International Bluegrass Music Association, PineCone and other North Carolina organizations announced the full lineup for the 2015 Wide Open Bluegrass festival. Alison Krauss & Union Station, featuring dobro player Jerry Douglas, will be the main headliner, with The Sam Bush Band, Earls of Leicester, The Gibson Brothers, Blue Highway and the O’Connor Family Band joining, too. Krauss was supposed to perform with an all-star jam at the 2013 Wide Open Bluegrass festival, but illness prevented her from taking the stage.
Krauss, Douglas and company join an already-announced lineup that includes Brevard’s Steep Canyon Rangers, The Infamous Stringdusters, Balsam Range and Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, among others. The Wide Open Bluegrass festival is a two-day component of the five-day International Bluegrass Music Association World of Bluegrass conference, which includes the IBMA Awards. Last year, combined attendance to World of Bluegrass and Wide Open Bluegrass topped 180,000 people, injecting $10.8 million dollars into Raleigh’s economy. And while World of Bluegrass was initially only contracted to stay in Raleigh through 2015, last year the organization’s board voted to extend IBMA’s annual stay in Raleigh through 2018.
Tickets to Wide Open Bluegrass are on sale now, and the free, open street festival should announce its own bands as the festival date draws closer.