Sunday, 21 December 2008

Your band - at IBMA's World of Bluegrass?

How does your band get on to the programme at IBMA's World of Bluegrass, other than by winning the title of #1 European Bluegrass Band at the European World of Bluegrass Festival?

The procedures for becoming part of IBMA's World of Bluegrass - whether on one of the nineteen official showcases or one of the innumerable private 'after hours' showcases throughout World of Bluegrass week - are set out in a detailed report for the use of international bands, drawn up by Hannah Johnson, lead singer and mandolinist of the Toy Hearts (UK). The advice it contains includes the IBMA's own instructions on applying for official showcases and on hunting for 'after hours' spots, with a list of the 'after hours' hosts who presented in 2008.

Most importantly, the report's advice is based on the Toy Hearts' own personal experience in going through these procedures. To quote Hannah's introduction:

Performing at IBMA really was an amazing experience and provided a truly unique opportunity for networking and making contacts. For any international bluegrass band considering applying... DO! You may not get much sleep, but you will have the time of your life! It is never too early to start thinking about applications...

The last point deserves stressing: the deadline for applications for official showcases is 15 January 2009. The full text of Hannah's report can be read here.