Wide Open Bluegrass Accessibility Guide

Wide Open Bluegrass brings together music fans from all around the world, and we are committed to making this event accessible, enjoyable, and welcoming for all participants, including people with disabilities.


The International Bluegrass Music Association, the City of Raleigh, event producer PineCone, and all of the members of the Local Organizing Committee welcome ALL bluegrass fans to Raleigh. Have a question about accessibility or getting around that is not covered here? Talk to us – we’d love to work with you to help make Wide Open Bluegrass more accessible for you and ALL music fans. Efforts to expand the accessibility of the festival are ongoing, and we appreciate your feedback.


The two-day StreetFest portion of the event is free and open to the public, and there are a variety of free events that will take place in the Raleigh Convention Center during the festival as well.


Most of the events taking place during Wide Open Bluegrass are on the street level with the roads closed off to motor vehicles starting Thursday night. Fayetteville Street is more than half a mile long, so there will be some distances to travel between certain stages. All street-level activities are physically accessible, but please be aware that Fayetteville Street and its sidewalks will be crowded during the event.


There is plenty to see and do on your way between events, even when those events are blocks apart. The R-Line (which has a lift system) and Raleigh’s team of rickshaw drivers can be a great option for moving from one event to another in a cost-effective way.


You can avoid some crowding by going up or down a block to Wilmington or Salisbury streets and then returning to Fayetteville via one of the cross streets. Do note that some streets have a slight uphill pitch to them, especially the side streets: Martin, Davie, and Hargett.


The ticketed portion of Wide Open Bluegrass takes place in Red Hat Amphitheater, and you can learn more about that venue’s accessibility features on the Red Hat Amphitheater website.


Volunteers in official T-shirts will be around the festival - please ask someone if you have a question, or call on one of our access contacts:




Have questions about accessibility? Please contact us!

Jamie Katz Court
919-664-8333 x103 or before event; 919-656-7902 during event


Courtney Wheeler
919-664-8333 x102 or before event;
336-971-4291 during event


Julie Brakenbury
919-830-0636 during event


Gray Henderson
919-239-3652 during event




A great place to start your Wide Open Bluegrass experience is at one of the Information Stations, located at PNC (intersection of Martin & Fayetteville, southeast corner), the Raleigh Convention Center Welcome Desk (Salisbury Street main entrance), or at the Greater Raleigh Visitor Information Center located just inside the Raleigh Marriott City Center Hotel. There you can pick up a full schedule of weekend events and ask friendly helpers any questions you might have about the weekend!



Wide Open Bluegrass ADA guidleines


Designated accessible viewing areas will be available in front of all StreetFest music stages for people who use mobility devices and their companions to help ensure that you can see what’s happening on stage. These areas are intended for fans who use wheelchairs, scooters or other mobility devices and their companions, as well as fans who have a disability that substantially limits their ability to stand and their companions. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.




Mobility Concepts will provide scooters and wheelchairs for rent on siteThe Mobility Concepts booth will be located on City Plaza just south of the City Plaza stage, next to the accessible drop-off and pickup area.


Scooters and wheelchairs can be rented on-site, or reserved in advance by calling 919-612-5132 (7am-9pm only, please), or you can reserve a scooter or wheelchair on the Mobility Concepts website - you'll need to enter the date(s) of the event (Sept. 29 and/or Sept. 30), and your device will be waiting for you at the festival. The rental rates for Wide Open Bluegrass will be $35-$40 per day.


You can also e-mail Mobility Concepts with any additional questions or concerns


Wide Open Bluegrass does not provide personal care, golf cart rides, or push service. Please plan ahead and bring attendants if needed.


What’s Allowed: Only those who have mobility disabilities may use mobility devices. Power wheelchairs and three or four-wheeled scooters are allowed for use by people with mobility disabilities.


What’s Not Allowed: Wide Open Bluegrass is a crowded event. For safety reasons, powered mobility devices that move faster than walking speed, or that are heavier and larger than a wheelchair or scooter, including two-wheeled scooters, golf carts, or all-terrain vehicles, are NOT allowed anywhere on the festival footprint.


Other Devices: Other types of mobility devices will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. To ask permission to bring a powered mobility device other than a wheelchair or scooter, contact no later than September 15.




Quiet spaces will be located along the festival footprint for people or families who need a low sensory environment away from the crowds and noise.


  • Raleigh Convention Center -  Room 307 (available Friday & Saturday only)

  • Raleigh Marriott City Center - Chancellor Room

  • Street Fest - Exchange Plaza




Wide Open Bluegrass ADA Guidelines
Fayetteville Street and the first block of all side streets will be blocked off for the festival. Wilmington and Salisbury Streets will remain open. Designated drop-off areas are available on the east side of Salisbury between Hargett and Davie Streets and the west side of Wilmington between Hargett and Davie Streets. 

In addition, although Lenoir Street will be closed between Salisbury and Wilmington streets, people with disabilities who would like to be dropped off within the festival footprint CAN access Lenoir Street from Salisbury Street, and then turn north onto Fayetteville (toward the Capitol, away from the Performing Arts Center) to be dropped off in Raleigh City Plaza at the south end of Fayetteville Street. Once the passenger(s) have been dropped off, the driver can turn around on Fayetteville, turn left on Lenoir, and then turn left onto Wilmington. 

On the other end of the festival footprint, drop-off is also available at available parking spots along Morgan Street where it intersects the north end of Fayetteville Street at the State Capitol Building. 




Community members who want assistance finding a sighted guide should call PineCone-Piedmont Council of Traditional Music, at 919-664-8333, x3, or e-mail us at by Friday, Sept. 14 so we can help connect you with a guide who can be available when you want to attend the festival.
Wide Open Bluegrass ADA Guidelines

You can contact us closer to the event as well, and we will do our very best to meet your request, but the more notice you can provide, the more likely we can connect you to a guide or guides to help you when you want to be at the festival. 
The sighted guides program was launched in 2016 and continues to grow. 
Sign up to be a sighted guide - trainings are scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 23 or Sunday, Aug. 26! 




Wide Open for Recovery is a supportive, recovery-friendly space at the festival for people in recovery and their families and friends, hosted by Recovery Communities of North Carolina. Look for them near the Capitol Stage!


There will be three programs that will repeat each day:  

  • Many Paths in Recovery (community and RCNC programs and services)
  • Recovery Language and Anti-stigma
  • Supports for Family Members. 

Recovery Communities NC will have at least one staff member available from 10-4 each day and volunteers available throughout both days to greet visitors, talk and be supportive, answer questions and provide information.




The Moore Square Bus Station is located at 214 S Blount Street, 1.5 blocks from the heart of the StreetFest footprint.

The R-Line, a free circulator shuttle, will also be available to help you get from your parking space to the festival footprint.

All R-Line vehicles and all GoRaleigh vehicles are equipped with ADA access by either a lift or a ramp.





Street parking surrounding the footprint of Wide Open Bluegrass is free after 5 p.m. on Friday, and all day on Saturday. Street parking is available on Friday, just be sure to pay your meter! The parking meters do have a “Handicapped Parking Option” for visitors displaying a handicapped placard or license plate. There is no time limit on a Handicapped Payment, so there is no need to move your car again, although you do still have to pay $1 per hour of parking.



Parking decks are available both days, although parking fees may vary. Select downtown Raleigh parking decks are color-coded to help you remember where you’ve parked:


Blount Street Parking Deck: Purple Deck (1 block east of Davie Street Stage)


Wilmington Station Deck: Blue Deck (1 block southeast of Capitol Stage, 1 block northeast of Hargett Street Stage)


Moore Square Deck: Green Deck (1 block east of Hargett Street Stage)


Performing Arts Center Deck: Aqua Deck (1 block south of Convention Center, 1 block southeast of Red Hat Amphitheater)


City Center Deck: Red Deck (1 block east of Davie Street Stage and City Plaza stage)


Cabarrus Deck: Brown Deck (1 block west of City Plaza Stage)


Municipal Deck: Orange Deck (2 blocks west of Capitol Stage)


Convention Center Deck - Underground: Yellow Deck (1 block south of City Plaza Stage)


Additional decks nearby the Wide Open Bluegrass footprint include: Alexander Square, Charter Square, Hannover, Convention Center Underground, Moore Square Decks!


See all available parking decks in Downtown Raleigh


Download Local Map PDF | View Google Map

Downtown Raleigh Parking Map


Download this Parking Map as a PDF





Most of the events taking place at Wide Open Bluegrass are on the street level with the roads closed off to motor vehicles starting Thursday evening. While this means that some areas of the streets and sidewalks do get crowded, all street-level activities are physically accessible. Do note that some streets have a slight uphill pitch to them, especially the side streets: Martin, Davie, and Hargett. 


In the evenings Raleigh’s teams of rickshaw drivers can be a great option for moving from one event to another in a cost-effective way:


Crank Arm Rickshaw

Raleigh Rickshaw


Handicap Accessible Cab Companies

Community Cab and Wheelchair Service / Phone: (919) 231-6282

Evans Transportation / Phone: (919) 427-5635

King Richard Transportation / Phone: (919) 754-7270

Leisure Cab and Transportation / Phone: (919) 833-6169




Street level accessible restrooms (portable toilets) will be located on three of side streets of the festival footprint: W Hargett, E Martin, and E Davie, as well as on City Plaza (behind Fire Wok restaurant) and near the Dance Tent. Many of the indoor venues, including the Raleigh Convention Center, have accessible restrooms located within the facility.





Red Hat Amphitheater

Contact: Ticketmaster: (800) 745-3000


Wheelchair accessible seating along with companion seating is available in every section of the Amphitheater.

Companion seating is a conventional seat for a person accompanying anyone in accessible seating.

Accessible seating includes an open, level space that accommodates the wheelchair on a smooth, stable, and slip resistant surface.

Accessible Tickets are available for purchase and can be found in “Find Tickets” section of website and then click option for requesting accessible tickets.

Once the tickets are requested you will be prompted to fill out a form and then a Ticketmaster Representative will contact you to complete the arrangement.

Accessible parking is the first level of parking garages.

Passengers can be dropped off at Amphitheater Box Office.

All gates entering the Amphitheater are accessible.

All restrooms feature a ramp making them accessible to all patrons.

Assistive Listening Systems are at the Box Office and you must request them prior to entering on show days.


Raleigh Convention Center

Contact: Lindsay Clapp -


Parking is located on the corner of Lenoir and Salisbury Street as well as beneath that Marriott City Center with ADA compliant spaces closest to the entrances of each deck.  

We also have a drop off zone located off the main road in a designated space on Salisbury Street in front of the Center. 

We have fully compliant ADA restrooms located on each level of the Center with family assisted restrooms located nearby.  

Elevators are located on each corner of the building off of the main entrance for the patrons that need assistance. 

We currently have 30 stethoscope and 10 Inductive Loop hearing assisted devices that use infrared signals that can be obtain at the Security Desk located in the Main Lobby of the Convention Center with a valid ID. 

For those patrons that need a sign interpreter they will need to contact the show organizer at least 2 weeks in advance to arrange for service.


Ramble Venue Contacts


Kings / Contact: Steve Popson - / (919) 906-0221*

The Architect Bar and Social House / Contact: Shawn Randall - / (773) 490-3826

Pour House / Contact: Adam Lindstaedt - / (919) 889-6982

Vintage Church / Contact: Jim Freeze - / (919) 829-7087

Lincoln Theatre / Contact: Mark Thompson - / (919) 828-4444




Scooter and Wheelchair Rental 

Scootaround/ Nicole Sul (pronounced Sole);; 1.888.441.7575 ext 6222




The Wide Open Bluegrass local organizing committee works hard to make all of its programming accessible to everyone! If you need assistance or have additional questions during Wide Open Bluegrass, e-mail Julie or call 919-645-2661. If you have additional questions, comments or would like to join the general conversation about accessibility in the arts, e-mail Jamie or call 919-664-8333. 



The Local Organizing Committee is grateful to Arts Access and SPARKcon for helping us compile this information. Arts Access is a Raleigh-based non-profit focused on making the arts accessible to people with disabilities. SPARKcon is an interdisciplinary creativity, art & design festival produced by the non-profit creativity incubator, Visual Art Exchange, in Raleigh, NC.  We will continue to work to make Wide Open Bluegrass as accessible and enjoyable for all members of our community as possible!