IBMA Bluegrass Ramble Official Showcase Application


Link to application at bottom of page (please read all instructions first)

Official Showcases are the premier platform for introducing talent and new music to the bluegrass community during IBMA World of Bluegrass. The event will take place during September 28 – October 2, 2021. We are planning to have an in-person event once again in beautiful downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, but we are actively monitoring CDC, federal, and local guidelines, and are making adjustments accordingly.

The Official Showcase Package

Each selected showcase act will perform at least twice during the week— typically once during the IBMA Business Conference (25-minute sets) and once at an IBMA Bluegrass Ramble venue (45-minute sets). In addition to the two showcase opportunities, the official showcase package includes:

  • Full conference registration package for performers (value $1000+)
  • Priority access to Gig Fair appointments
  • Complimentary Exhibit Hall booth space during IBMA Business Conference (value $700+)
  • Up to three (3) Individual Memberships (value $225+)
  • Featured promotion on IBMA social media channels throughout the summer, ahead of the events
  • Featured profile in conference program, WOB app, and printed IBMA Bluegrass Ramble schedules
  • Featured pre-event promotion to DJs and talent-buyers via our IBMA Bluegrass Ramble playlists on Noisetrade and Spotify

Virtual-Only Official Showcases

Given the impacts of the pandemic, the IBMA Showcase Selection Committee will be selecting up to 10 Virtual-Only official showcase acts in addition to the typical 30 in-person acts. Preference will be given to international acts, who face continued barriers to travel. US-based acts will be considered after meeting the needs of our international community. Acts CANNOT participate in both in-person and virtual showcasing, and acts will be able to select a preference when applying.

Note: We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to hold IBMA Bluegrass Ramble showcases safely in-person in Raleigh, North Carolina this fall. However, as we continue to develop our event in accordance with CDC, state and local health and safety guidelines, showcases could be moved to an online virtual environment should adequate progress with vaccines and number of new COVID-19 case not be achieved.


All emerging bluegrass bands, as well as established bands with new music or new personnel, are encouraged to apply. The IBMA is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA). Artists with disabilities, artists who are black, indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC), and those who identify as LGBTQ are encouraged to apply.  We welcome a diverse lineup of acts playing across the stylistic spectrum. If you want to get your act or new material in front of top bluegrass talent buyers, our official showcase opportunity is for YOU. Applicants do NOT have to be IBMA members.

All non-U.S.-based artists must be legally able to enter the United States and are responsible for acquiring all necessary travel permits including visas when necessary. Learn more.

Official showcase acts from 2020 ARE eligible to apply for the 2021 event. This is a change from previous years due to the fully virtual nature of the 2020 event.

Application Process

All applications will be made online through this page. Up to 30 artists will be invited to participate in the IBMA Bluegrass Ramble as in-person official showcase acts, and up to 10 will be invited as virtual-only official showcase acts. Artists are chosen through a juried selection process that takes into consideration the applicant’s entertainment value, level of professionalism, potential appeal, quality of work, and potential of act to benefit from the opportunity.

Applications will be open April 5 – April 30. All applicants will receive a response from the IBMA via email by May 31 indicating whether the act has been selected for an official showcase, selected as an alternate, or not selected for an official showcase.

Application Materials

In addition to general applicant contact information, the following materials will be needed to complete the application:

  • Name, email, and role (i.e. banjo, fiddle) of each member of the applying act
  • One studio recorded song (mp3 format only), an optional second recording may be submitted as well)
  • One Hi-Res artist photo
  • An artist bio with artist location, names/roles of band members (if known at time of application), description of the artist’s sound, and note of any recently released recordings
  • A stage plot, indicating locations of instruments, instrument mics, vocal mics, and any other equipment (i.e. amp, pre-amp)
  • Credit card for application fee

Application Deadlines & Fees

Online applications for official showcases must be submitted by APRIL 30, 2021. All applicants are required to submit a $25 fee to help defray selection process costs. If invited to participate as an official showcase artist, there is an additional fee of $500 to offset costs of services and showcase production. Virtual-only official showcases will require a $300 fee.

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