RALEIGH, N.C., September 29, 2014 - The 2014 Wide Open Bluegrass app, sponsored by Red Hat, is a comprehensive guide to all things bluegrass in and around Raleigh during Wide Open Bluegrass, which will be centered in downtown Raleigh on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 3 & 4.  Not only does the app include schedules for both the free and ticketed stages that are part of this signature event, but also it includes discounts and deals from area restaurants and retailers (including drink specials and special menus), general wayfinding information (including parking & road closure information), and much more. 

Festival attendees can find the app through the Apple/iTunes App store for iOS/iPhone users and the Google Play Webstore for Android operating systems by searching for keywords Wide Open Bluegrass 2014. This year, there is a separate app for the World of Bluegrass business conference, which can be found by searching for World of Bluegrass 2014. Both apps are free to download.

The Wide Open Bluegrass app includes schedules for the ticketed stages at Red Hat Amphitheater and the Raleigh Convention Center as well as the free StreetFest in downtown Raleigh. Fans can also access band bios and website links for many of the week's performers; get transportation info; find out more about the NC Pork Council's Whole Hog Barbecue State Championship; see a map of the StreetFest footprint and a map to the Red Hat Amphitheater; access a list of StreetFest vendors and Wide Open Bluegrass sponsors. Plus, users will find photos, videos, camping info, hotel info, other things to do, restaurant listings, and more.

"Red Hat continues to look for opportunities to support our downtown Raleigh community," said DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people officer of Red Hat. "We're happy to sponsor the Wide Open Bluegrass app and hope it adds to the enjoyment of the festival."

The app was created by CrowdTorch (a division of Cvent, a company specializing in festival apps) in partnership with the Local Organizing Committee's technology committee, IBMA and the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau (GRCVB).

Loren Gold, Executive Vice President of the GRCVB and co-chair of the LOC said, "We are excited to give visitors to Raleigh an updated tool that is an easy-to-use resource which highlights all the sights, sounds, tastes and special offers of WOB 2014! This was a great collaborative partnership between IBMA, the IBMA Local Organizing Committee and our vendor."

IBMA's World of Bluegrass event, an annual bluegrass music homecoming, consists of four parts: the IBMA Business Conference, September 30 - October 2, the 25th Annual International Bluegrass Music Awards, scheduled for Thursday evening, October 2, Wide Open Bluegrass, October 3-4 (which includes both free stages and ticketed performances) and the Bluegrass Ramble, an innovative series of showcases, taking place September 30 - October 2 in downtown Raleigh and at the Raleigh Convention Center.

For more details and to purchase tickets (while available) for the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival, visit www.wideopenbluegrass.com Music fans are encouraged to stop by the Raleigh Convention Center on Tuesday, Oct. 1 for on-site World of Bluegrass registration and tickets to the Awards Show and Bluegrass Ramble. Tickets for the International Bluegrass Music Awards Show can also be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 1-800-653-8000 or online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/, or in person at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. Additional information is also available at www.ibma.org

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau reported that last year's World of Bluegrass event generated $10 million in direct visitor spending for that region, with total attendance for the week's activities estimated to be over 154,000, exceeding expectations for the event's first year in Raleigh. Over 300 performances by more than 160 different artists took place during World of Bluegrass 2013.

IBMA - the International Bluegrass Music Association - is the professional trade organization for the global bluegrass music community.  The organization's six-year stay in Raleigh is the result of a partnership with The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, PineCone-The Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, the City of Raleigh and a local organizing committee.

Official hashtags: #WOB, #IBMA, #Raleigh

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