This is the general information page for MerleFest. For specific events/years follow the links below.
Wilkesboro, North Carolina, United States
Apr 25, 2019 - MerleFest 2019 starts in 134 days!
Typical Attendance: 75000
Annual Festival Held in April
Ages: From 0 To 105
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Words From the Festival
MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate traditional plus music.
We are about the MUSIC, MOMENTS and MEMORIES!
The MUSIC of MerleFest was best explained by Doc himself: When Merle and I started out we called our music traditional plus, meaning the traditional music of the Appalachian region plus whatever otherstyleswe were in the mood to play. Since the beginning, the people of the college and I have agreed that the music of MerleFest is traditional plus.
The MOMENTS of MerleFest are those unique experiences that only happen here. It may be two musicians you never expected to see collaborating, a shooting star over the Watson Stage during an evenings closing set, or that one set that seems to have touched everyone in the audience.
The MEMORIES of MerleFest include the memory of Eddy Merle Watson, who we honor each day with The Tribute to Merle and the new memories we create each year we come together to celebrate MerleFest. Fond memories we will always cherish are those of Doc and his unending contributions to the festival, the college and the music world. At MerleFest, fans would always flock when Doc graced the stage with his amazing flat-picking style, rich baritone voice and humble presence a presence that will always be missed.
MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, serves as an annual homecoming for musicians and music fans. Held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of traditional plus music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts numerous artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.
Talent Submission: MerleFest proactively selects talent through its Artist Relations Team and does not accept or respond to unsolicited talent submissions (including email, voice mail, and snail mail)."
In The News!
- MerleFest 2018: the Tradition Continues with DiGiCo
- MerleFest 2018: Tradition Continues With DiGiCo
- 2018 Chris Austin Songwriting winners announced at MerleFest
- Local band wins MerleFest spotlight
- Legends and Newcomers Unite at MerleFest 2018
- Legends and Newcomers Unite at MerleFest 2018; Festival Wraps Up Successful 31st Year
- Saturday big day at MerleFest 2018
- Rain ends for MerleFest
- MerleFest Is On
- Stellar opening MerleFest lineup shines through rain; good weather on the way
- Can't-Miss Acts at Merlefest 2018 According to Other Artist on the Lineup
- MerleFest contest winners will play on Friday
- MerleFest begins on Thursday
- Laura Boosinger helps deepen North Carolina ties at MerleFest
- Amy Dixon: Crew has big job dressing up the grounds for MerleFest
- One Week Until MerleFest 2018 Starts on April 26