02 November 2005


[Last update 13 Oct. 2022]

If you are also thinking of touring in the UK (which includes Northern Ireland), use the British Bluegrass Music Association's Tour Support service.
Here is a link to a four-page memo, 'Thinking of touring in Europe?', originally produced by the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA).

The very first version of this document was compiled from contributions by two distinguished leaders of American bluegrass bands with considerable experience of touring in Ireland. The early draft has since been comprehensively rewritten and expanded by Kevin Lynch of the EBMA to apply to Europe in general, but all the advice holds good for anyone considering a band tour in Ireland.

The text no longer appears on the EBMA website, and the version presented on our link has been slightly revised and updated to take account of changed conditions.
We also strongly recommend two articles on Bluegrass Today by singer, writer, guitarist, bandleader, and broadcaster Chris Jones (USA): 'International man of bluegrass' and 'International touring dos and don'ts'. Chris has toured a lot in Europe, and his articles are both sound advice and good reading.

Venues: as a means of identifying venues favourable to bluegrass and old-time music, check the BIB calendar and calendar archive to get an impression of where touring bands have played in the last couple of years.

Updates 2015-16

(1) On 18 Feb. 2015 the BIB published 'For visiting bands - finding places to play', which supplements the information above. [The BIB then recommended (and still does) John Nyhan and Nigel Martyn as tour organisers. The Mygrassisblue.com team, dedicated to bringing the best of bluegrass to Ireland, has now launched. (23 Nov. 2018)]

(2) A major additional resource: on 2 Oct. 2014 a seminar on 'Gigging through Europe' was held at IBMA's World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, with a panel comprising Greg Cahill, Amy Gallatin, Chris Jones, Chris Keenan, and Kathy Kallick, chaired by Angelika Torrie, who was then chairperson of the European Bluegrass Music Association and IBMA's International board member. Apply to the IBMA for a record of the proceedings.

Update 2017

The position of International member of the IBMA board is now held by Silvio Ferretti.

Update 2022

Since 2020 the International member of the IBMA board has been Christopher Howard-Williams, whose term will end in 2023.

Richard Hawkins, BIB editor
Originally posted 2010; updated June 2012; further updated Mar. 2015, Apr. 2016, Sept. 2016, Jan. 2017, Feb. 2017, Nov. 2018, Sept. 2019, Oct. 2022

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