Who is Northern Indiana Bluegrass Association?

Northern Indiana Bluegrass logo

Northern Indiana Bluegrass (NIBGA) was formed in 1976 by a group of musicians from the Fort Wayne area who liked to play and listen to bluegrass music. They formed a not for profit organization whose purpose is to educate the public to, and promote the awareness of, Bluegrass and Old Time Country Music. The clubs first outdoor festival was held in the fall of that year and has been held every Memorial and Labor Day weekend since with one or two exceptions.

Since 1990 NIBGA has held festivals on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Memorial and Labor Day weekends at the Noble County 4H fairgrounds (NCCFC) located in Kendallville, Indiana. This 65 acre facility has room for over 400 campers with 15 amp power and there is limited water. Over the years NIBGA has helped NCCFC upgrade the infrastructure. In 2003, NIBGA committed to $10,000 as a matching grant for better water and power. Again in 2007, NIBGA donated over $1,000 for electric and water improvement.

The goal that the board of directors has tried to achieve at these festivals is to provide high quality and a variety of entertainment in an atmosphere that encourages jamming. Base on the response of attendees, the board has succeeded. The stage show, with it's large variety of bluegrass talent, is well received with many compliments. The jamming is around the clock.

Using the profits from these festivals NIBGA has provided funding for

  • scholarships for young musicians,
  • 50% of Traditional American Music programs in area schools using national bands like Special Consensus,
  • the IBMA in schools education program,
  • the International Bluegrass Museums future and
  • significantly improving the infrastructure at the Nobel County Fairgrounds in Kendallville, IN, our festival home.
  • NIBGA has also tried to extend beyond the holding of festivals and fulfill our charter of educating the public.

NIBGA holds winter meetings October, November, no December and January through April on the third Sunday of each month from noon until 6 PM at the SW Conservation Club, 5703 Bluffton Rd., Ft. Wayne, IN 46809. These are informal sessions where experienced and novice can pick together. It is a great way of getting to know area pickers. The public is invited. No carry-in drinks or food but the kitchen and bar is open.

NIBGA applied and was granted a change to a 501C3 corporation in 2013. Donations to the club are tax deductible as allowed by law.

How can I become a member of Northern Indiana Bluegrass Association?

You may join NIBGA for $10 individual, $15 for second adult at the same address per year. Memberships run from May 1 to April 30. You may sign-up at any time not just during the April - May renewal period however your membership always will expire on April 30 the following year. This is done to simplify the member $5 discount on weekend tickets at the Memorial and Labor Day festivals. We do reduce the fee for those signing up in November - March time frame to only $5 or you can sign up from now through the following year at $15 individual & $20 couple!

Due to mailing expense, Canadian memberships are $15 by mail. E-mail memberships are $10 for one, $15 for two.

For your dues you get 11 newsletters which are generally 3½ pages long highlighting area Bluegrass happenings. A festival guide is published in the first quarter listing over 100 festivals in the area. Your weekend ticket to the Memorial and Labor Day Tri-State festivals are discounted $5 each. Many other festivals also allow a discount on weekend tickets.

The cost of mailing the newsletter to the club is about $.65 each counting stamps, labels and printing. We have looked at using bulk mail but that could delay the arrival of your newsletter by 3 - 5 days. By using first class mail, we are able to get address corrections and deliver you more current news. To get your newsletter even faster, 5-7 days, request email delivery!

To join, send your check made out to NIBGA to:

NIBGA
5034 Wapiti Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46804-4946
Download a membership form