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.

Every year during the last weekend in April, the small town of Wilkesboro, N.C., grows by 75,000 or more as throngs of music lovers from around the United States and beyond arrive for Merlefest, one of the premiere musical events in the nation.

Listen to Uncle Ted White describe the essence of MerleFest and its importance to sustaining traditional music and dance (interview courtesy of Joe Kendrick, WNCW).

Event Details

Location Wilkes Community College
Wilkesboro, NC
Cost Ticketed/Admission Charged
Single and Multi day tickets, and Early Bird discounts available. Visit website for ticket and camping details.
Music Styles Bluegrass
Contra Dancing
Early Country Music
Square Dancing
Event Type Festival
  • ✔ Can Accommodate Groups
  • ✔ Dancers Welcome
  • ✔ Family Friendly
  • ✔ Food Service
  • ✔ Handicapped Accessible
  • ✔ Open Jam
  • ✔ Picnic Space

Food tent along with seating at dinner tables for hundreds. Portable flush toliets. Limited RV and tent camping available.

Contact Info

Phone (800) 343-7857

Upcoming Dates:

  • Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 2:00pm - Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 10:00pm