Here is a call from The International Bluegrass Music Association.
Dear Bluegrass Professionals and Passionate Fans: We are asking for your help.
In the thirty-seven years since the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) was founded, we have seen bluegrass music expand tremendously inside and outside the United States. Today, there are bands on stages all over the world. That said, the growing international bluegrass community needs our assistance.
Why create an International Band Performance Grant program?
- Professionals and fans have benefitted from the expansion of bluegrass music around the world. Assisting international bands furthers their development, the development of bluegrass events and audiences globally, and the growth of opportunities for everyone involved in the music.
- “International” is an important part of the name and reach of the IBMA. Our association is working to overcome the inherent logistical and cost-related challenges to effectively serve this vital part of our bluegrass community.
- International bands face enormous hurdles to attend IBMA World of Bluegrass.
Why We Need Your Help
The IBMA has created the International Band Performance Grant program to address these issues. The cost of providing impactful grants annually to help international artists attend IBMA World of Bluegrass and perform in the U.S. is significant. Therefore, we need to raise enough money to sustain the program for years to come. Although I retired from the IBMA in 2021, my wife Alys and I remain deeply committed to helping bluegrass music and its professionals. This is why we have pledged to match your donation this year up to a total of $50,000. With your help, we can fund this important program with at least $100,000 to further the worldwide development of professionals and the reach of bluegrass music.
What Are The Costs for International Bands?
While the cost to attend IBMA World of Bluegrass is significant for all of us, professionals make this investment in their careers to develop creatively, make business connections, and perform in front of event producers and thousands of fans. International bands want the same opportunity. In addition to the normal registration fees, meals, and lodging, non-U.S. artists also incur:
- Air travel costs that are normally 50-100% higher than those flying domestically.
- Difficult visa regulations and processing which can either limit a band’s performances to showcasing at the Business Conference or cost approximately $3000-$4000 to obtain working visas and legal assistance that allows performances in front of non-conference audiences at IBMA World of Bluegrass or anywhere else in the U.S.
The cost for international bands can total more than $10,000 for visas, airfare, hotel, and WOB registration, which is why most of these bands cannot afford to attend WOB or tour in the U.S.
The IBMA International Band Steering Committee will choose the annual grant recipient from among international bands selected to be official IBMA World of Bluegrass showcase artists, Grants will help defray the following costs:
- Obtaining visas and traveling to the U.S. for showcase performances and additional professional opportunities at the IBMA Business Conference
- Participating in a short U.S. tour for one band, who will also receive performance fees.
Would you donate $50, $75, $100 or more today to support great music and support the “I” in IBMA?
I hope you will consider a generous donation today to help us support bluegrass and international bands. For many of you in the U.S., your donation may be tax deductible. Thank you in advance for helping the IBMA’s efforts to nourish the music we love.
Thank you, Paul Schiminger IBMA.