14 August 2015

The EBMA sets out on a new course

A week ago the BIB checked the Facebook page of the European Bluegrass Music Association (EBMA), and discovered its new logo. Moreover, the EBMA website has been completely redesigned and reorganised, indicating that a major programme of radical renewal in the EBMA is under way.

Back in March the BIB reported on the new EBMA board of directors, who had then announced an outline of plans for the EBMA's future progress. These plans have now been announced in detail, and appear in a report by Richard Thompson, published yesterday on Bluegrass Today. This includes an interview with the new chairman of the board, Eugene O'Brien, born in Dublin and resident in Brussels. Eugene belongs to the highly regarded Sons of Navarone band, who tour often in Britain, and is also the new international representative of the British Bluegrass Music Association, which fits in with the EBMA's plans for closer links with national bluegrass associations.

Four of the EBMA's board members: (l-r) Richard Cifersky, Susie Bowe, Stu Vincent, Eugene O'Brien

The EBMA's new programme includes youth scholarships, band support, developing the festival network, improved consultation with fans, a new annual gathering at Waldkraiburg, Germany, and other features.

This is an exciting development in European bluegrass, and the BIB recommends Richard Thompson's report - with which our only major quibble is its title, 'EBMA seeks new direction.' It looks to us as if the EBMA already knows its new direction and is stepping out on the route in no uncertain fashion.

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