MerleFest Announce Initial 2017 Lineup

Article Contributed by HearthMusic | Published on Thursday, November 17, 2016

MerleFest, presented by Window World and slated for April 27-30, 2017, is proud to announce its initial lineup of artists. 2017 will be a celebration of 30 years of MerleFest! The annual homecoming of musicians and music fans returns to the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The star-packed lineup for MerleFest 2017 will be announced over the next few months; today MerleFest made its first announcement for the 2017 lineup, including Zac Brown Band with a very special acoustic set, Del McCoury Band, Jim Lauderdale, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, Mountain Heart and many more.

MerleFest is proud to announce more than 75 artists who are part of the festival’s 2017 lineup. The initial lineup reflects the diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival. MerleFest is known for its unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, Americana, blues, country, Celtic, Cajun, cowboy, zydeco, rock and many other styles that the late Doc Watson referred to as “traditional plus.”
Alberti Flea Circus, Todd Albright, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Jim Avett, Banknotes, The BattleAxe Band, Bethel University Renaissance Bluegrass Band, Roy Book Binder, The Bluegrass Experience, Laura Boosinger & The Midnight Plowboys, Mark, "Brink" Brinkman, Zac Brown Band, Andy Buckner, Mark Bumgarner, Sam Bush Band, Chatham County Line, T. Michael Coleman, The Contenders, J.P. Cormier, Counterclockwise String Band, Dear Brother, Pat Donohue, Jerry Douglas, John Doyle, Eric Ellis, Flando Calrissian, Scott Freeman, Front Country, The Gravy Boys, The Green Grass Cloggers and Strictly Strings, Mitch Greenhill, Virgil Harden & the Appalachian Countdown, Nate Harris and Spice Creek Ramblers, Wayne Henderson, Bob Hill, David Holt, The Hook & Bullet, I Draw Slow, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, Steve James, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, Jim Lauderdale, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little Trio, The Local Boys, Locust Honey String Band, Lydia Luce, Claire Lynch, Bill Mathis, Andy May, Del McCoury Band, Pat McInerney, Mountain Heart, Megan Nash, Carol Rifkin and Jeanette Queen, Roanoke, Peter Rowan, Scythian, ShadowGrass, Steve and Ruth Smith, Joe Smothers, Ed Snodderly, The Stray Birds, String Madness with Mitch Greenhill, Surry Line, Bryan Sutton Band, Swift Creek, 10 String Symphony, Ken Tizzard, The Trailblazers, Happy Traum, Uncle Joe and the Shady Rest, The Waybacks, The WBT Briarhoppers, Charles Welch, Pete & Joan Wernick, Uncle Ted White, and Tony Williamson.
Additional performers for MerleFest 2017 will be announced in the coming months. The lineup is viewable at
“Throughout the years, one of the major factors that has built and sustained MerleFest,” said festival director Ted Hagaman, “is the quality of the artists and performances our guests see over the four days of the festival. People truly feel the festival is a great value. That’s probably best expressed by the fact that so many music fans and families return year after year, making MerleFest an annual homecoming every spring. We’re tremendously proud of what we’ve collectively built over the past 30 years and look forward to celebrating this milestone April 27-30, 2017.”
For Steve Johnson, artist relations manager for MerleFest, much of the thrill of booking the festival comes from discovering new artists. “Working for MerleFest means I get to do a lot of traveling around the U.S. and Canada to various festivals and music venues,” Johnson said. “This year at MerleFest, we have some great artists I got to know in various ways, like I Draw Slow, a band from Dublin, Ireland; I met the band members while working with them on one of their first U.S. tours. Megan Nash is an artist I first heard at a music event in the town of Nokomis, Saskatchewan, in Canada. I was immediately impressed by her songwriting and vocal style. 10 String Symphony is a duo that I knew of from fiddler Christian Sedelmyer’s work with Jerry Douglas at MerleFest 2016. I then heard them perform in Nashville, Tennessee, and knew right away the MerleFest audience would enjoy their music!”
Tickets for MerleFest 2017 are on sale now and may be purchased at or by calling 1-800-343-7857. A three-tiered pricing structure is again offered for MerleFest 2017. Early Bird Tier 1 ticket discount is available starting November 17, 2016, through February 12, 2017. Early Bird Tier 2 ticket discount will run from February 13, 2017, through April 27, 2017. The third price tier will be gate pricing. Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the extended early bird discount.
MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson, the son of the late 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 a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.