PNC presents Wide Open Bluegrass Accessibility Guide
Wide Open Bluegrass welcomes attendees with disabilities. We are dedicated to continually improving our efforts to ensure attendees have access to all festival goods and services, regardless of ability. Wide Open Bluegrass brings together music fans from all around the world, and we strive to provide an event that is welcoming to ALL participants.

Download this Wide Open Bluegrass ADA Guide:

2019-ADA-Guide-WideOpenBluegrass (MS WORD)

2019-ADA-Guide-WideOpenBluegrass (PDF)


A great place to start your Wide Open Bluegrass experience is at one of the Information Stations, located at PNC (intersection of Martin & Fayetteville, southeast corner), City Plaza, or at the Greater Raleigh Visitor Information Center located just inside the Raleigh Marriott City Center Hotel. There you can pick up a full schedule of weekend events and ask friendly helpers any questions you might have about the weekend!


There is a designated accessible drop-off area on Fayetteville St just south of City Plaza. Vehicles dropping off patrons with disabilities should take Salisbury Street to Lenoir Street to Fayetteville Street. Once the passenger(s) have been dropped off, the driver can turn around on Fayetteville, turn left on Lenoir, and then turn left onto Wilmington.

Designated drop-off areas also are available on the east side of Salisbury between Hargett and Davie Streets and the west side of Wilmington between Hargett and Davie Streets. Fayetteville Street and the first block of all side streets will be blocked off for the festival. Wilmington and Salisbury Streets will remain open.

On the other end of the festival footprint, drop-off is also available at designated parking spots along Morgan Street where it intersects the north end of Fayetteville Street at the State Capitol Building.


Mobility Concepts will provide scooters and wheelchairs for rent on site. The Mobility Concepts booth will be located on City Plaza just south of the City Plaza stage, next to the accessible drop-off and pickup area on Fayetteville Street.

Call 919-612-5132 (7am-9pm only, please) to reserve a scooter or wheelchair in advance; or you can reserve a scooter or wheelchair on the Mobility Concepts website – you’ll need to enter the date(s) of the event (Sept. 27 and/or Sept. 28), and your device will be waiting for you at the festival. The rental rates for Wide Open Bluegrass will be $35-$40 per day.

You can also e-mail Mobility Concepts with any additional questions or concerns: [email protected].

Wide Open Bluegrass does not provide personal care, golf cart rides, or push service. Please plan ahead and bring attendants if needed.

What’s Allowed: Only those who have mobility disabilities may use mobility devices. Power wheelchairs and three or four-wheeled scooters are allowed for use by people with mobility disabilities.

What’s Not Allowed: Wide Open Bluegrass is a crowded event. For safety reasons, powered mobility devices that move faster than walking speed, or that are heavier and larger than a wheelchair or scooter, including two-wheeled scooters, golf carts, or all-terrain vehicles, are NOT allowed anywhere on the festival footprint.

Other Devices: Other types of mobility devices will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. To request to bring a powered mobility device other than a wheelchair or scooter, contact [email protected] no later than September 15.


Designated accessible viewing areas will be available in front of all StreetFest music stages for people who use mobility devices and their companions to help ensure that you can see what’s happening on stage. A limited number of chairs are available in these areas. These areas are intended for:

  • fans who use wheelchairs, scooters or other mobility devices and their companions,
  • fans with low vision and their companions
  • fans who have a disability that substantially limits their ability to stand and their companions.

Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Most of the events taking place at Wide Open Bluegrass are on the street level with the roads closed off to motor vehicles starting Thursday evening. While this means that some areas of the streets and sidewalks do get crowded, all street-level activities are physically accessible. Do note that some streets have a slight uphill pitch to them, especially the side streets: Martin, Davie, and Hargett.


Sign up to request a sighted guide – deadline: Friday, Sept. 13

Community members who want assistance finding a sighted guide can sign up online, or call Courtney Wheeler of PineCone-Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, at 919-664-8333, x3, or e-mail her at [email protected] by Friday, Sept. 13.

NEW THIS YEAR: You can also contact Courtney ([email protected], 919-664-8333 x3) for information about being paired with a sighted guide during the World of Bluegrass Business Conference, Bluegrass Ramble showcases, or the 30th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards!

You can contact us closer to the event as well, and we will do our very best to meet your request, but the more notice you can provide, the more likely we can connect you to a guide or guides to partner with you during these events.

The sighted guides program was launched in 2016 and continues to grow.

Sign up to be a sighted guide– two guide trainings are scheduled for September at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts:

  • Thursday, September 5 at 7pm and
  • Sunday, September 8 at 4pm


Quiet spaces will be located along the festival footprint for people or families who need a low sensory environment away from the crowds and noise.

  • Raleigh Convention Center – Room 307 (available Friday & Saturday only) [TO BE CONFIRMED]
  • Raleigh Marriott City Center – Chancellor Room [TO BE CONFIRMED]
  • StreetFest – Exchange Plaza


Assistive Listening Devices – Assistive Listening Systems are available at Red Hat Amphitheater. Please ask for assistance in receiving these sound-amplifying listening systems at the Red Hat Amphitheater Box Office prior to entering on show days. If you are planning to come and go from the Amphitheater during the festival, please return your device on your way out of the Amphitheater so someone else can use it. You can pick one up again when you return to the amphitheater. There is no fee to use the ALD, but a valid photo ID is required to ensure return of the device.

American Sign Language – Interpreting for music takes a lot of preparation time, so it is best if an interpreting request is made prior to the festival. Please make your request as soon as possible and no later than 3 weeks before the start of the event. After that date you are still welcome to submit requests and we will do our best to accommodate those requests if the schedule allows. You are always welcome to come to shows that others have requested. Write to [email protected] with your request.


The Moore Square Bus Station is located at 214 S Blount Street, 1.5 blocks from the heart of the StreetFest footprint.

The R-Line, a free circulator shuttle, will also be available to help you get from your parking space to the festival footprint.

Accessible Cab Companies
Community Cab and Wheelchair Service / Phone: 919-231-6282
Evans Transportation / Phone: 919-427-5635
King Richard Transportation / Phone: 919-754-7270
Leisure Cab and Transportation / Phone: 919-833-6169

Street parking surrounding the footprint of Wide Open Bluegrass is free after 5 p.m. on Friday, and all day on Saturday. Street parking is available on Friday, just be sure to pay your meter! The parking meters do have a “Handicapped Parking Option” for visitors displaying a handicapped placard or license plate. There is no time limit on a Handicapped Payment, so there is no need to move your car again, although you do still have to pay $1 per hour of parking.

Parking decks are available both days, although parking fees may vary. Accessible parking is located in the first level of parking garages.

Select downtown Raleigh parking decks are color-coded to help you remember where you’ve parked:

  1. Blount Street Parking Deck: Purple Deck (1 block east of Davie Street Stage and Martin Street Stage)
  2. Wilmington Station Deck: Blue Deck (1 block southeast of Dance Tent, 1 block northeast of Hargett Street Stage)
  3. Moore Square Deck: Green Deck (1 block east of Hargett Street Stage and Martin Street Stage)
  4. Performing Arts Center Deck: Aqua Deck (1 block south of Convention Center, 1 block southeast of Red Hat Amphitheater)
  5. City Center Deck: Red Deck (1 block east of Davie Street Stage and City Plaza stage)
  6. Cabarrus Deck: Brown Deck (1 block west of City Plaza Stage)
  7. Municipal Deck: Orange Deck (2 blocks west of Dance Tent)
  8. Convention Center Deck – Underground: Yellow Deck (1 block south of City Plaza Stage)
  9. Additional decks nearby the Wide Open Bluegrass footprint include: Alexander Square, Charter Square, Hannover, Convention Center Underground, Moore Square Decks!Review the color-coded parking map.

See all available parking decks in Downtown Raleigh

In the evenings Raleigh’s teams of rickshaw drivers can be a great option for moving from one event to another in a cost-effective way:


Street level accessible restrooms (portable toilets) are located on W Hargett and W Davie Streets. Many of the indoor venues have their own accessible restrooms located within the facility.


Red Hat Amphitheater
Contact: Rachel Rice or Ticketmaster: [email protected]

  • Wheelchair accessible seating along with companion seating is available in every section of the Amphitheater.
  • Companion seating is a conventional seat for a person accompanying anyone in accessible seating.
  • Accessible seating includes an open, level space that accommodates the wheelchair on a smooth, stable, and slip resistant surface.
  • Accessible Tickets are available for purchase and can be found in “Find Tickets” section of website and then click option for requesting accessible tickets.
  • Once the tickets are requested you will be prompted to fill out a form and then a Ticketmaster Representative will contact you to complete the arrangement.
  • Accessible parking is located in the first level of parking garages.
  • Passengers can be dropped off at Amphitheater Box Office.
  • All gates entering the Amphitheater are accessible.
  • All restrooms feature a ramp making them accessible to all patrons.
  • Assistive Listening Devices are at the Box Office – stop by and request a device on your way in.

Raleigh Convention Center
Contact: Lindsay Clapp: [email protected]

  • Parking is located on the corner of Lenoir and Salisbury Street as well as beneath the Marriott City Center with accessible parking spaces closest to the entrances of each deck.
  • A drop off zone is located off the main road in a designated space on Salisbury Street in front of the Center.
  • Accessible restrooms are located on each level of the Center with family assisted restrooms located nearby.
  • Elevators are located on each corner of the building off of the main entrance for the patrons that need assistance.
  • Raleigh Convention Center has 30 stethoscope and 10 Inductive Loop hearing assisted listening devices that use infrared signals that can be obtained at the Security Desk located in the Main Lobby of the Convention Center with a valid ID.
  • Patrons who need a sign language interpreter should contact the show or event organizer at least 2 weeks in advance to arrange for service.

Ramble Venue Contacts

As hard as we try to make all Wide Open Bluegrass events as accessible as possible there are some venues with accessibility challenges. Bluegrass Ramble programming happening at Kings and at The Architect are only accessible via stairs. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

The Wide Open Bluegrass local organizing committee works hard to make all of its programming accessible to everyone! If you need assistance or have additional questions during Wide Open Bluegrass, e-mail Julie or call 919-645-2661. If you have additional questions, comments or would like to join the general conversation about accessibility in the arts, e-mail Jamie or call 919-664-8333.

The Local Organizing Committee is grateful to Arts Access and SPARKcon for helping us compile this information. Arts Access is a Raleigh-based non-profit focused on making the arts accessible to people with disabilities. SPARKcon is an interdisciplinary creativity, art & design festival produced by the non-profit creativity incubator, Visual Art Exchange, in Raleigh, NC. We will continue to work to make Wide Open Bluegrass as accessible and enjoyable for all members of our community as possible!

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