MerleFest organizers and patrons have been counting down the days for the world-famous festival’s return to its usual Spring weekend. Some fans’ annual pilgrimages to MerleFest are already underway, and the Wilkes Community College campus is abuzz with festival staff excitedly readying the festival to take place just one week from now—April 28th through May 1st. Today, MerleFest, presented by Window World, announced the lineup for the fan-favorite Late Night Jam. The Waybacks, Jim Lauderdale, Allison Russell, Kaia Kater, Donna The Buffalo, Kruger Brothers, and Caleb Caudle will join jam hosts Hogslop String Band to explore the theme of this year’s jam: “The Times They Are A-Changin' - Songs from the 60's and 70's Folk-Rock Revolution.”
MerleFest has published the official festival schedule at merlefest.org/schedule so that fans can plan their weekend. Not to be missed traditions include The Waybacks’ Album Hour set on the Hillside Stage on Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning Gospel sets at the Creekside Stage, Thursday’s Late Night Dance Party with Donna The Buffalo on the Dance Stage, and MerleFest’s yet-to-be-announced band competition winners Sunday on the Hillside Stage. Be sure to check out MerleFest first-timers, including the R&B and soul revolution of Durand Jones & The Indications (Thursday on the Watson Stage), Nashville hit songwriter and 1/4 of The Highwomen, Natalie Hemby (Friday on the Cabin Stage), Allison Russell’s ethereal, multi-instrument prowess (Saturday on the Cabin Stage), and Arlo McKinley’s eclectic blend of soul, country, punk, and gospel (Saturday on the Cabin Stage).
Tickets for this year’s festival are still available and may be purchased at www.MerleFest.org or by calling 1-800-343-7857. MerleFest also encourages festivalgoers 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.
Additionally, MerleFest would like to remind patrons of this year’s safety protocol. The major points are as follows: MerleFest 2022 will be mask-optional in general, but masks will be required while riding on all festival shuttle buses and transportation and in the artist-secured backstage area. Buses will be sanitized periodically, and hand sanitizer will be available prior to boarding shuttle buses. Proof of vaccination/negative COVID-19 tests will not be required for 2022. A full list of MerleFest 2022 safety guidelines can be found at merlefest.org/safety. MerleFest continues to follow the state health guidelines as directed by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper along with the CDC and state/local health agencies, so these protocols are subject to change pending state rulings. “Our number one priority has always been to produce a safe and family-friendly event, and that certainly is the goal for MerleFest 2022,” said this year’s festival organizers.
About MerleFest: MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of "traditional plus" music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel, and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock, and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 12 stages during the course of the multi-day event. MerleFest is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs.