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.

Visit the Down The Road on the Blue Ridge Music Trails Podcast Library to hear more about MerleFest and explore many bluegrass and old-time music stories, performers, and traditions across the mountain and foothills counties of Western North Carolina.

Event Details

Location Wilkes Community College
Wilkesboro, NC
Cost Ticketed/Admission Charged
$45.00 - $275.00 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: