The wait is almost over! MerleFest, presented by Window World, kicks off next Thursday. As fans prepare to embark on their annual pilgrimages to MerleFest, the Wilkes Community College campus is abuzz with staff and volunteers excitedly making final preparations for the festival which takes place just one week from now—April 27-30.
MerleFest has just posted the official schedule—which can be found at this link—so that fans can plan their weekend. This year will mark MerleFest’s 35th festival and honor Doc Watson’s 100th birthday. To celebrate the historic milestone event, organizers intend to feature MerleFest’s unique history and present unique collaborations to honor the festival’s founding folk icon. In addition to the Doc-Centennial, not-to-be-missed traditions include Donna The Buffalo’s opening night dance party on Thursday, The Waybacks’ legendary Album Hour set on Saturday at the Hillside Stage, and a trio of Sunday morning gospel sets at the Creekside Stage. MerleFest is also hosting a number of artists for their very first time at the world-renowned event. Don’t miss first-timer sets from acts like the genre-defying and industry-challenging Americana singer Miko Marks (Friday at 12:45 p.m. on the Watson Stage), bluegrass-steeped folkster Bella White (Sunday at 1:50 p.m. on the Cabin Stage), the emotive and thoughtful songs of Tommy Prine (Saturday at 5:45 p.m. on the Americana Stage), AJ Lee & Blue Summit’s fan-favorite brand of acoustic music (Friday at 5:45 p.m. on the Americana Stage), and the transcendent southern rock of Ben Chapman (Friday at 4:15 p.m. on the Dance Stage).
Tickets for MerleFest 2023—which will feature performances by Brothers of a Feather with Chris & Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, The Avett Brothers, Maren Morris, Tanya Tucker, Nickel Creek, Little Feat, and many more—are available now. For general admission passes, reserved seating, and more, please visit merlefest.org/purchase. Festival goers can save money by purchasing their tickets in advance of the festival’s opening day, April 27th. MerleFest also encourages festival goers to download the official MerleFest mobile app ahead of this year’s festivities to keep up to date with schedules, events, and on-site information.
The WCC Foundation is once again hosting its MerleFest Mega Raffle to support scholarships at Wilkes Community College. Over $150,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded and only 3,000 tickets will be sold. The Mega Raffle drawings will be held during the festival on Sunday, April 30, 2023, at the Mega Raffle/Silent Auction Tent at 2:00 p.m., and ticket holders do not need to be present to win. Winners will be announced during the live drawings and notified via email and phone to confirm the prize. Raffle tickets are $100 each and include two entries to the MerleFest Mega Raffle drawings. Mega Raffle Tickets are on sale now at merlefest.org/megaraffle.