Journalist David Morris writes for Bluegrass Today that Raleigh blew him away as the site for the International Bluegrass Music Association awards show last weekend. He wasn't sure about the choice initially. At all.
But he writes in a post titled "Who needs Nashville?":
"The move to Raleigh was a great one. The city has treated bluegrassers like royalty all week. Not just the stars, who get the red carpet rolled out for them wherever they park their buses, but lesser-known bands and fans, too. City officials even closed part of the main street for the weekend’s Wide Open Bluegrass festival (formerly known as Fan Fest).
"There was a carnival-like atmosphere in the city on Friday and Saturday, with vendors hawking food and souvenirs and a seemingly endless stream of bands setting up on multiple stages, indoors and out.
"And fans came, by the thousands. There are some reports, not yet verified, that this was the largest convention ever in Raleigh. Some estimates put the crowd for Saturday (pairing IBMA with the North Carolina Barbeque Championships) close to six figures – far more than ever came to IBMA in Nashville. That’s probably an inflated number, but the weekend’s paid shows were sold out and the free shows were mobbed. There were even scalpers! Yes, scalpers. That never happened in Nashville. And there was so much foot traffic, city cops had to direct traffic through intersections."
Read the rest of his glowing review here.