MerleFest, presented by Window World, Is One Week Away!

Article Contributed by IVPR | Published on Monday, September 6, 2021

MerleFest, presented by Window World—Wilkesboro, North Carolina’s annual homecoming of musicians and music fans—is only one week away. As the festival nears, organizers want to remind festivalgoers of a few important details. Festival gates will open at 1:30 pm local time on Thursday and 9:30 am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. All attendees and participants will be required to show one of the following 2 options along with festival admission passes to enter the festival:

1. Proof of full vaccination. You can present your vaccination card, a paper photocopy, or cell phone photo of your card as proof of your vaccination when you arrive at the festival. Photos/photocopies must show the full card and be legible.


2. If you have not been vaccinated or do not have a vaccination card, you must show a printed or digital copy of a negative COVID-19 test performed on you within 72 hours of the time of entry.

Once you have shown a copy of your vaccination card or a copy of your negative COVID-19 test result, you will be issued a “Well wristband” identifying that you have met the safety criteria for entry into the festival. Please do not remove this wristband until the festival is over as this will be good for the entire time you are at the festival. If you lose or remove your well wristband then you will have to go through the process outlined again to receive another well wristband.

The festival strongly recommends that those needing a COVID-19 test get the test before arriving at the festival. Advance planning will save time and avoid waiting in lines. Additional information on all festival protocols can be found by visiting

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Milk Carton Kids and We Banjo 3 will no longer be performing at MerleFest and will be replaced in the lineup by Shawn Colvin and Gangstagrass, respectively. Shawn Colvin, along with David Childers, will replace Milk Carton Kids as judges in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.

Additionally, Andy May’s annual MerleFest Acoustic Kids Showcase will no longer be held for the health and safety of its young participants. Andy and Lauren May released a statement that reads, “We are very sorry to have to let you know that we have decided we must cancel all Acoustic Kids Showcases scheduled for fall, 2021. This was not an easy decision. However, in light of the uncertainty surrounding the current COVID outbreak; out of concern for everyone's health and well-being (including our own); and following our doctor's emphatic advice, we see no viable alternative.” Although very disappointed, they look forward to next year’s festival with the hope that things will be back to normal.

Don’t forget to download the MerleFest app to help plan your festival experience. The MerleFest app can point you towards a variety of on-site activities for all ages. In between musical sets, the Shoppes at MerleFest is a centrally located shopping village of commercial vendors, official MerleFest memorabilia, and services such as first aid, lost and found, and internet access. Tickets for this year’s festival may be purchased at