The opening date for the new International Bluegrass Music Center in Owensboro has been announced and plans are under way for a three-day grand opening celebration.
It’s been a challenging construction process. The first general contractor, Evansville-based Peyronnin Constrution, began work in June 2016, then filed for bankruptcy in January 2017, causing an interruption of progress on the project.
In April 2017 the city of Owensboro awarded the contract to another Evansville-based company, Danco Construction. There were some delays due to materials and weather on the original Dec. 31, 2017 date for substantial completion, which didn't include much of the interior specialty work.
Now Executive Director Chris Joslin says the new International Bluegrass Music Center is on track for a grand opening Oct. 18-20.
“The construction is at the end stages, but then, as you might imagine, with a museum and a performance venue there is still a lot to do internally with fabricating museum exhibits and the technology around that, and certainly the technology that is designed into the 450-seat performance venue."
Joslin says the three-day opening celebration will include programs on the pioneers of bluegrass music and a ticketed performance by a well-known bluegrass artist. The third day will highlight the riverside ambiance of the center with a free outdoor mini-festival with performances by several bluegrass musicians.
The $15 million International Bluegrass Music Center is a 50,000-square-foot facility in downtown Owensboro that will make the most its riverfront location and include a restaurant with a view of the Ohio River. The bluegrass music center will complement the liveliness of the scenic riverside park that has a sprawling children's play area, waterside tables and frequent community events.
The new bluegrass center is located at 2nd and Frederica Streets, a few blocks from its current smaller facility in the RiverPark Center on Daviess Street. The music center is expected to draw visitors from across Kentucky and the U.S., as well as from other countries.