The International Bluegrass Music Museum

Come explore the richness of Bluegrass Music

Learn about Kentucky's music heritage at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro

The official State Music of Kentucky, Bluegrass, was named after Bill Monroe’s “The Blue Grass Boys Band.” Monroe and his band created the captivating sounds in the late 1930’s, combining Appalachian mountain music, rural string playing, folk ballads, blues, African stomp and gospel. Today, Kentucky, or the “Bluegrass State,” is widely known for the horse farms planted in the beautiful blue grass, as well as the fun, indigenous music of its people.

Fittingly, the International Bluegrass Music Museum (IBMM) is found in Owensboro, Ky.—just 30 minutes from Monroe’s hometown. It’s situated downtown in the RiverPark Complex. Approaching the facility, you’ll hear the infectiously energetic sounds springing from the museum radio station, RBI.

The museum is the world’s only facility dedicated to the history and preservation of Bluegrass Music, featuring many permanent and changing exhibits. The latest exhibit is titled “Bluegrass in Posters” as it displays posters form the earliest days to the present, along with clothing from special performances. Be sure to check out permanent exhibits such as the Bluegrass Hall of Fame and The Timeline of Bluegrass Music. 

IBMM currently showcases items in 22,000 square feet of space. However, big plans are in the works to renovate the third floor, providing even more room for interesting exhibits!

The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. It’s closed Mondays; however, if you’re traveling and will only be in town on a Monday, special arrangements can be made by calling (270) 926-7891.

Museum admission is $5 for adults and seniors and $2 for students. Children under age 6 are free. Several guided tours are available at an additional cost, with special pricing and events packages available for larger groups.

Photo courtesy Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau