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MerleFest is an annual four-day traditional and contemporary roots music festival featuring bluegrass, folk, and Appalachian roots music from across the country. Scheduled for April 25-28 2024, MerleFest takes place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and is a favorite of thousands in the area.
Originally hosted by folk music legend and Grammy Award-winner Doc Watson until his passing in 2012, MerleFest was named after Doc’s late son, Eddie Merle Watson, who died in a tragic tractor accident.
Great Lineup For 2024!
Leading the 2024 lineup is the Grammy-winning Old Crow Medicine Show, followed by the Turnpike Troubadours, the blues-rock duo, The Teskey Brothers, and the recently reunited bluegrass sensation Nickel Creek. MerleFest favorites Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, and The Earls of Leicester are also set to appear.
The initial 2024 lineup also includes Steep Canyon Rangers, Shinyribs, Peter Rowan, Scythian, Donna the Buffalo, Jim Lauderdale, Kruger Borthers, Darrin and Brooke Aldridge, Chatham County Line, Chatham Rabbits, John McEuen, Willi Carlisle, Adeem the Artist, The Sensational Barnes Brothers, The Waybacks, Alexa Rose, Andy May, Ashes and Arrows, B. Townes, Banknotes, Buffalo Nichols, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Flattop, Goldpine, Gravity Check Juggling, and the interACTive Theater of Jef.
Also performing are Jack Lawrence, Jake, Kohn, Jeff Little Trio, JigJam, Joe Smothers, Josh Goforth, Kyshona, Laura Boosinger, The Local Boys, Mark Bumgarner, Mitch Greenshill & Mitch’s Kitchen, Nefesh Mountain, Palmyra, Pete & Joan Wernick, Presley Barker, Roy Book Binder, The Silent Comedy, T. Michael Coleman, Them Coulee Boys, Tony Williamson, and Uwade and Wayne Henderson. Additional artists to be announced in coming weeks.
In addition to world-class music, the Festival offers a large children’s activities area, called “Little Pickers Family Area,” a student showcase for children, “Pickin’ Place” for any musician to join in and jam, the Songwriters Coffeehouse, a Nature Walk, crafters, and over 70 vendors to shop from. Camping and RV areas are available at nearby River’s Edge Campground.
Prices range from $80-$100 for online Single Day Passes ($95-$115 at the gate) and $205-$300 for Multi-Day Passes ($225-$320 at the gate).
Children 12 and under are FREE with a ticketed adult in the general admission seating areas. However, tickets are required for everyone in the reserved seating area.
You can pay ahead for camping at the Rivers Edge or On-Campus with an RV. A backstage tour and various parking options are also available as add-ons for an extra cost. Proceeds from MerleFest benefit Wilkes Community College.
1328 S Collegiate Dr.
Here’s a video highlighting MerleFest from 2022.
Camping is available at the Rivers Edge Campground and at the YMCA for MerleFest ticket holders and volunteers.
YMCA Campers have their choice of a pop-up camper site (15 total), a campfire site (with a fire ring – 25 total), or a regular campsite.
All Y campers have access to the full YMCA facility during our operating hours and access to showers outside of operating hours on Saturday morning from 7 am-8 am and Sunday from 7 am-1 pm before we open.
YMCA Camping begins on Thursday, April 25 and runs through Monday, April 29, 10am. If you want to add on Wednesday night it is an additional $50.
YMCA camping fees for MerleFest are as follows:
- Tent Camping: $120
- Fire ring sites: $140
- Campers $160
Rivers Edge Campground is located along the beautiful Yadkin River at the Rivers Edge sports complex. There are over 300 primitive sites available for anything from a tent, to a pop-up camper, to a teardrop camper, to a 40-foot RV.
There is limited water access and no power, with the exception of power available to campers without a generator, in need of access for medical reasons.
There are water hydrants throughout the complex for sharing of water, port-a-johns, and a bathhouse from Thursday at noon until Sunday at Noon. Rivers Edge campers can purchase a YMCA shower band to get access to YMCA showers throughout the festival for $75.
Rivers Edge camping dates begin Wednesday, April 24 at 12pm and go until Monday, April 29 at 10 am.
Rivers Edge Camping fees for MerleFest are as follows:
- Tents: $100
- Pop up: $135
- RV: $165
- YMCA Shower Band: $75
Music Festivals In Winston-Salem & Surrounding Areas
Concert or music festival fan? Don’t stop at MerleFest. Winston-Salem and surrounding areas hold many music festivals all year round. Visit our music coverage to find your next event.
Who is your favorite act you’ve seen at MerleFest? Let us know in the comments!Tagged With: Music