More From the Ted Lehmann Collection

by | 8 Jan, 2010 | 3 comments

Holiday Photo Treats III – Merlefest 2009

Ted Lehmann has posted up his third series of Merlfest photos on his blog Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms.

Blog’s 3rd Anniversary

Ted also celebrates three years of blogging. His first blog entry is dated 4th December 2006. Since that time, Ted has contributed over 400 entries the majority of which are reports on bluegrass events.

In the past year, Irene and I attended sixteen bluegrass festivals and twenty-five other events devoted to bluegrass music in some form or other. We went to fewer festivals, I think because the economy, especially through the winter, frightened us…

All told, we spent 216 nights on the road with 200 nights in our trailer. We’re painfully aware that age is slowing us down; we don’t drive as far or as hard, and it takes us longer to recover from a trip. Nevertheless, we spread out geographically and broadened both our circle of bluegrass friends while learning more and more about this world we’ve come to value and love so much Ted Lehmann.

Read Ted’s anniversary post on Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms.


  1. Ted Lehmann

    If you plan on going for just the weekend, then I’d choose IBMA’s Fan Fest, arriving on Thursday in order to attend the awards ceremony in the Ryman Auditorium. Fan Fest, which takes place on Friday, Saturday, with a Sunday morning gospel show has twenty great bands a day performing in the main performance hall in addition to a fiddle championship, lots of very good workshops, and a large and varied set of performer and manufacturer exhibits. We’ve been twice and find it to be a highly entertaining and exhausting experience.

    I have to admit to something of a bias away from SPBGMA and also say quite clearly that we’ve never been to it. It’s more fan driven on the awards side, and less designed, as far as I can tell, to exhibiting cutting edge bluegrass. Of course, if you had the whole week, then IBMA is just plain tops. The banquets, the official and after hours workshops, and the professional development meetings can’t be beat. I look at SPBGMA as more of a festival with a fancy name while IBMA is truly a professional meeting. Hope this helps. Irene says she wants to go to SPBGMA next year, so a question in March a year might get a different answer. – Ted

  2. Editor

    Thanks Ric,
    I shall attempt to have that question answered by an expert festival goer from the USA.

  3. rick

    If you had the choice of going to either the IBMA or the spgma awards for the entire weekend. Which would you choose. My wife and I are just bluegrass fans. We don’t play any instruments just want to go to one or the other.