Hurricane Ian forces IBMA’s World of Bluegrass festival in Raleigh indoors

Robert Willett/rwillett@newsobserver.com

The International Bluegrass Music Association will move its weekend festival indoors as Hurricane Ian is expected to hit the Triangle area, organizers said Tuesday.

The Main Stage performances planned for Red Hat Amphitheater are moving to Raleigh Memorial Auditorium at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, according to a statement from Judy McDonough, an IBMA spokesperson.

All previously scheduled performances at the five free Street Stages and all the scheduled vendors are moving to the Raleigh Convention Center,

The News & Observer previously reported that up to 7 inches of rain could hit the Triangle this weekend. The rain is likely to begin on Thursday night, hours before the street festival and outdoor concerts are slated to begin.

While IBMA Executive Director Pat Morris and Executive Producer David Brower said the event typically follows a rain or shine policy, past hurricanes have forced the event indoors throughout the 10 years it has been hosted in Raleigh.

In 2015, during Hurricane Joaquin, the entire festival moved into the Raleigh Convention Center.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Ian has been classified a Category 3 hurricane and is expected to hit Florida in the coming days. North Carolina officials are asking residents in low-lying areas to plan their evacuation route in the event it is needed.

“It’s definitely not the forecast we were hoping for but the show will go on whether Ian likes it or not,” Brower said.