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Get Ready to Enjoy Some Live Folk and Bluegrass at Family-Friendly MerleFest 2021 - This Week

Family-friendly MerleFest, presented by Window World, will be held THIS WEEK, September 16-19, on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. You don't want to miss this!

MerleFest, dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the gold standard for bluegrass, Americana, and string music festivals,” is normally held the last weekend of April, but the 2020 festival was canceled due to public safety concerns amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, so they have made this one-time-only move to this fall and they plan to return to the traditional April weekend in 2022.

About MerleFest: 

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel, and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock, and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the multi-day event. MerleFest is the primary fundraiser for the Wilkes Community College Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs.

The Artists:

There is some amazing talent lined up for this year’s MerleFest! You can find the full lineup at https://merlefest.org/lineup/ Here are a few you can see on one of the 13 stages: Melissa Etheridge, Mavis Staples, LeAnn Rimes, JOHNNYSWIM, The Milk Carton Kids, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Charley Crockett, Chatham Rabbits, Cordovas, Donna the Buffalo, Jim Lauderdale, John Cowan, Sam Bush Band, Sam Williams, Sweet Potato Pie, Terrapin Creek, The Barefoot Movement, The Cleverlys, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, The Local Boys, The Waybacks, Tommy Emmanuel, Tony Williamson, Wayne Henderson, Wyld Fern, Yasmin Williams and Zoe & Cloyd.

For the Kids:

The Little Pickers Family Area is full of activities for all ages: pictures with Flattop, amusements, games, face painting and so much more! Look for the big tent to find all of our crafts. Crafts include:

  • Painting

  • Play Dough Art

  • Crayon Art

  • Shimmer Bottles

  • Coffee Filter Hats

  • Mural Wall

  • Bead Necklaces

The Little Pickers Stage performances include unique acts selected with children in mind, such as scheduled “meet and greet” with Flattop. Bring a camera and get your photo made with Flattop! Entertainment will be scheduled throughout the weekend on the Little Pickers Stage.

Two large Shade Tents, located within the Little Pickers Family Area, provide a place for guests to sit down and relax and for children, accompanied by a parent, to nap. Enjoy the Shade Tents when you need a little break from the MerleFest action.

COVID Safey Protocols:

MerleFest prides itself on being a safe and family-friendly environment. In the interest of safety for all participants—and at the recommendation of high-ranking public health officials and participating artists—all attendees to this year’s festival must provide either proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of entering the event. 

MerleFest organizers are working daily with state and local health officials, in accordance with  CDC guidelines, and appreciate in advance the patience and support of all participants. Below are the latest protocols. All protocols are subject to change and updates will be made as necessary or directed. 

Want to go? Get your tickets now!

You won’t want to miss this amazing display of bluegrass and Americana talent! You can get your tickets on MerleFest’s website, https://merlefest.org/purchase/ Don’t sleep on this, it starts this Thursday, September 16th, and runs through Sunday, September 19th!


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