George Kerferd Hotel, Mayday Hills, Beechworth

✭Special ABOTMA President’s Report✭

✭Special ABOTMA President’s Report✭

Evan Webb recently attended IBMA

A group of eight festival organisers from around the world were sponsored by South Arts to attend IBMA in Raleigh NC and PAE in Orlando FL. Bridget Rees, her daughter Angela and I represented Australia. There was a tight schedule of meetings, showcases, presentation ceremonies and concerts for us to attend. We were welcomed to IBMA by Paul Schiminger (Executive Director of IBMA) and Eddie Huffman. I attended the gig fair – speed dating for bands to meet booking agents and provide their media kits. The Expo Hall had instrument makers, bands, book sellers, music associations and much more. I said hello to Laurie Grundy there at his stand.

Showcases were held on five outdoor stages, in local venues and in dedicated rooms at the Marriott Hotel. Jam sessions took place wherever players could find a quiet spot. The major concerts were held at the Red Hat Auditorium, a huge outdoor venue. While all the acts were truly amazing, a few really stood out for me: The First Women of Bluegrass Becky Buller (fiddle), Sierra Hull (mandolin), Molly Tuttle (guitar), Missy Raines (bass) and Alison Brown (banjo) were the first women to win individual instrumental awards and their act blew the roof off. Tommy Emmanuel played with Jerry Douglas, Rob Ikes, Trey Hensley, Bryan Sutton and Jack Pearson. The Earls of Leister, Danny Paisley & Southern Grass, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and Balsam Range also played incredible sets.