MerleFest is a four-day festival in Wilkesboro North Carolina that spotlights the very best artists from the world of Americana music in late April. Doc Watson founded the event in 1988 to commemorate his son, who died tragically in a tractor-related accident just three years earlier, as well as raise funds for Wilkes Community College and takes place on campus at 1328 South Collegiate Drive. MerleFest 2016 is slated to bring some of the biggest national acts yet to its fourteen stages over the course of four days.
MerleFest Style of Music
Although the primary genre can be categorized under the umbrella of Americana, the music of Merlefest Wilkesboro North Carolina is truly a cross-section of Bluegrass, country, Cajun, and many varieties of acoustic music. And that does not exactly cover all of the bases. One of the most unique aspects of Merlefest among all the North Carolina events is that a variety of artists perform together and step outside what may be perceived as their niche. Past performers include Ricky Skaggs, Dolly Parton, Elvis Costello, and Willie Nelson.
Tickets to MerleFest
There are many options from which to choose for tickets to MerleFest. There are single-day admissions with camping (separate prices for RVs and regular camping). There are also multi-day general admission passes and options for pre-paid parking.
Directions to Merlefest
Merlefest and the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro is located just southwest of the intersection of Route 268 and Interstate 421. Stages are set up throughout the campus.
Lodging near Merlefest
There are plenty of hotels in and around Wilkesboro, including budget accommodations. Nearby hotels include a Hampton Inn at 1300 Collegiate Drive and a Red Carpet Inn at 1206 River Street. Many people opt for camping, which can provide a much more affordable and convenient situation for people who are planning to attend for all four days of the festivities.
Image: Jacob Caudill