MerleFest 2024: Lineup, Schedule, Tickets, Dates, Camping & More

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Three women sitting in grass at music festival
These three women are ready to rock it out at MerleFest again this year. Are you?

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.

History

merlefest logo png

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.

Merlefest has added more to their lineup, including Molly Tuttle & Golden HighwayLarkin PoeLukas NelsonPromise Of The Real, Sierra Hull, and Dan Tyminski Band. Also joining is Grammy award-winning outfit Béla Fleck My Bluegrass Heart, decorated songwriter Brady Clark (up for six Grammy nominations this year), fast-rising country figure Nick Shoulders, and over two dozen others.

Scythian performing at a past Merlefest event on Doc & Merle Watson Theatre
Scythian performing at a past MerleFest event on Doc & Merle Watson Theatre

The 2024 lineup also includes Steep Canyon Rangers, Shinyribs, Willie Watson, Peter Rowan, Scythian, Donna the Buffalo, Jim Lauderdale, Kruger Borthers, Darrin and Brooke Aldridge, S.G. Goodman, New Dangerfield, Chatham County Line, Chatham Rabbits, John McEuen, Willie Carlisle, Adeem the Artist, The Last Revel, Twisted Pine, The Sensational Barnes Brothers, The Waybacks, Evan Honer, Wyatt Ellis, Colby T. Helms & The Virginia Creepers, Alexa Rose, Andy May, Ashes and Arrows, B. Townes, Banknotes, Buffalo Nichols, Carol Rifkin, Charles Welch, Flattop, Goldpine, The Langan Band, Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road, 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, Arkansauce, Bob Margolian, Carolina Detour, Corey Harris, Ettore Buzzini, Falling Timber Band, Mitch Greenhill & Mitch’s Kitchen, New Found Gap, The Harris Brothers, Into The Fog, Missy Raines & Allegheny, Nefesh Mountain, Palmyra, Pete & Joan Wernick, Pixie & The Partygrass Boys, Presley Barker, Roan Street Ramblers, Roy Book Binder, The Silent Comedy, The Sullivan Sisters, T. Michael Coleman, Them Coulee Boys, The Tan & Sober Gentleman, Tony Williamson, and Uwade and Wayne Henderson.

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.

Tickets

Merlefest - Waybacks performing
The Waybacks performing at MerleFest

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.

Visit MerleFest.org to purchase tickets

MerleFest Mega Raffle

A Mega Raffle featuring $140,000 in cash and prizes is hosted by Wake Community College Foundation to support first-year experience scholarships at WCC. 

The drawings for the raffle will be held during the festival at the Raffle/Silent Auction tent on April 28, 2024, at 2 pm. You need not be present to win. 

Only 3,000 tickets will be sold at $100 each, giving you two entries into the raffle drawing.

Prizes include a 2024 Ford Bronco Sport Big Bend Edition, a Harley Davidson Motorcycle Lowrider, a Kawasaki Brute Force 300, a Series 9 Apple Watch, an Apple iPad Pro, Diamond Earrings, and $72,000 in cash prizes.

For raffle tickets and a detailed list of prizes, visit MerleFest Mega Raffle.

Extras

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.

Location

1328 S Collegiate Dr.
Wilkesboro, NC
Phone: 1-800-343-7857
email: merlefest@wilkescc.edu

MerleFest Video

Here’s a video highlighting MerleFest from 2022.

Camping

Camping is available at the Rivers Edge Campground and at the YMCA for MerleFest ticket holders and volunteers.

YMCA

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. 

Dates

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.

Costs

YMCA camping fees for MerleFest are as follows:

  • Tent Camping: $120
  • Fire ring sites: $140
  • Campers $160

River’s Edge

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. 

Dates

Rivers Edge camping dates begin Wednesday, April 24 at 12pm and go until Monday, April 29 at 10 am. 

Costs

Rivers Edge Camping fees for MerleFest are as follows:

  • Tents: $100
  • Pop up: $135
  • RV: $165
  • YMCA Shower Band: $75

More information on MerleFest camping

Volunteer For MerleFest

How would you like to be a volunteer at MerleFest? Volunteers receive free entry to the festival the entire day of their shift, free parking and shuttle, and 10% off camping at River’s Edge Campground. Find more information here. The deadline for volunteering is April 15, 2024.

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!

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