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Full Wide Open Bluegrass Free StreetFest Schedule Released

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IBMA World of Bluegrass 2015Nashville, TN -- The full schedule of artists and performances for Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest, the free street festival portion of Wide Open Bluegrass, has just been announced. The roster of artists performing at Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest, held October 2 and 3 in Raleigh, North Carolina, includes a broad mix of local, national and international bluegrass talent. Wide Open Bluegrass, presented by PNC, is part of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s five-day World of Bluegrass event in Raleigh, North Carolina, September 29-October 3. The PNC-presented free Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest, held in downtown Raleigh along Fayetteville Street, will feature more than 80 bands, five music stages, a dance tent, vendors and concessions.

The Youth Stage – a special stage near the Convention Center – will feature performances and activities from the future stars of bluegrass. The performers were chosen by IBMA’s Youth Council, which is made up of youth members from across the U.S. and Ireland.

Additionally, StreetFest will contain a Bluegrass Expo Hall and a Masters Workshop Stage in the Raleigh Convention Center.

“Audiences will encounter a unique bluegrass experience while roaming the streets of downtown Raleigh,” said William Lewis, Executive Director of PineCone and producer of Wide Open Bluegrass. “True to the Wide Open brand, performances will range from bluegrass music’s folk roots in blues and old-time string band with Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton & The Down Hill Strugglers, to traditional bluegrass performed by one of Bill Monroe’s former Blue Grass Boys – fiddler Bobby Hicks, to the modern stylings of Special Consensus, to the future of bluegrass by way of one of its most promising stars, mandolinist Sierra Hull. The lineup includes special projects, as well, including The HillBenders presenting ‘Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry’- a grassy spin on The Who’s rock opera; and Jayme Stone’s ‘Lomax Project’ – a reimagining of songs collected by folklorist Alan Lomax. We aim to inspire, entertain, and educate folks about the depth and breadth of bluegrass music today.”

"The PNC Porch at StreetFest will be back again this year, and we encourage festival-goers to stop by outside the PNC Plaza on Fayetteville Street," said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president, Eastern Carolinas. "StreetFest is free to the public and features an amazing array of bluegrass artists, with interactive, fun activities for people of all ages. We hope everyone will come experience bluegrass and the festival that makes Raleigh such a vibrant, creative city."

In addition to the free Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest, the ticketed concerts for both days will take place at Raleigh’s Red Hat Amphitheater. Tickets for Red Hat Amphitheater are limited, and expected to sell out before the performance dates. To purchase tickets for this portion of Wide Open Bluegrass, go to ibma.org.

“What makes IBMA’s Wide Open Bluegrass a festival experience like no other is the combination of the terrific free StreetFest stages and the stellar lineup scheduled for the Red Hat Amphitheatre on October 2nd and 3rd,” said Paul Schiminger, Executive Director of IBMA. “William Lewis of PineCone detailed some of the amazing performers who will take part in the StreetFest. Alison Krauss, Sam Bush, The Earls of Leicester and so many more world-class artists will be part of the ticketed weekend shows at Red Hat – so don’t forget to get your tickets for that, too, so you can enjoy the full Wide Open experience!”

The full schedule of artists and performance times for various stages at the free Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest is available on www.WideOpenBluegrass.com, and on the free Wide Open Bluegrass app (available for Android and iPhone devices), which also contains special offers for event attendees from local businesses, program schedules, maps, vendor listings and locations, transportation details, official news and social media updates, related events happening at local venues during the week, and other helpful information for festival attendees.

For the third year in a row, the NC Pork Council’s Whole Hog Barbecue Championship will take place as part of Wide Open Bluegrass, as well.

Barbecue lovers will find multiple options to learn about whole hog barbecue and tempt their palates during the festival, including three dining options and the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship. Friday night will kick off at 5 pm with a N.C. Barbecue Experience Dinner featuring Matthew Register of Southern Smoke. Die-hard fans can start Saturday morning early while watching the Whole Hog Barbecue Championship judging at 8:45 am, followed by a championship barbecue sandwich lunch benefiting the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Saturday night’s barbecue festivities finish strong with another N.C. Barbecue Experience Dinner with Linwood Parker of White Swan from 5-9 pm. For more details about the Championship or dining events, visit http://www.wholehogbarbecue.com, the Whole Hog Barbecue Facebook page or the NCPC Facebook page.

IBMA – the International Bluegrass Music Association – is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community.

Sponsors of the Wide Open Bluegrass street festival, presented by PNC, include: Bud Light, Big Boss Brewing Company, Lone Rider Beer, Natty Greene’s Brewing Company, Great America, Ron and Nancy McFarlane, Food Lion, Move Loot, Central Carolina Chevrolet Dealers, Boone, Red Hat, WakeMed, Martin Guitar, Blue Cross, Citrix, Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP, Covington Vodka, Go Ape, NC Railroad, Highwoods, GoTriangle, Pepsi, Nature’s Twist, Cheerwine, Stanley Martin Homes, Duke Energy, Link Glenwood South, North Carolina Arts Council, Raleigh Marriott City Center, Sheraton Raleigh, Holiday Inn Downtown Raleigh and Hampton Inn and Suites Downtown Raleigh. Media sponsors include: WRAL, WRAL.com, WTVD, WNCN, The News & Observer and Curtis Media.

The Youth Stage is made possible this year by PBS from a grant awarded to UNC-TV that encourages the support of public television and the arts, Amtrak, NC Amtrak, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, and 919 Magazine.

The StreetFest is brought to you by collaboration among the City of Raleigh, Raleigh Convention Center, IBMA, PineCone, and Greater Raleigh Convention & Visitors Bureau.

PNC Bank is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC (www.pnc.com) is one of the United States' largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management.

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