Music. Moments. Memories.

Steep Canyon Rangers and Friends with Steve Martin -MerleFest Sunday

Kris Kristofferson -
Thursday Evening on
Watson Stage

Jamey Johnson -
Friday Evening on
Watson Stage

The Mavericks - MerleFest Thursday

Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn - MerleFest Friday

Robert Earl Keen - MerleFest Thursday

Rhiannon Giddens - Saturday on Watson Stage

Tommy Emmanuel and Jerry Douglas - MerleFest Saturday

Saturday evening sunset session with Elephant Revival on Hillside

Welcome to MerleFest

April 26 - 29, 2018


April 26-29, 2018

April 26 - 29, 2018

#MerleFest 2018


The initial lineup for MerleFest 2018 is coming soon. Sign up for our newsletter and get the news FIRST! The 31st celebration of MerleFest is going to be HUGE!


4-Day Reserved Seating, 4-Day General Admission, 3-Day General Admission, Single Day Tickets, Parking Passes, Midnight Jam Tickets, and information on River’s Edge Camping.


As a volunteer you will receive free entry to the festival for the entire day of your shift. More importantly, you will be supporting a major fundraiser for Wilkes Community College.

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

This contest offers songwriters the opportunity to have their songs heard by a panel of professional songwriters from the music industry.

Things To Do

We have 13 stages of “Traditional Plus” music and so much more! Choices include Nature walks, Acoustic Kids Showcases, Little Pickers Area, a Pickin’ Place and a pleasing variety of food and craft vendors.

Getting Here

Getting to MerleFest is easy from any direction. If you are coming from North, South, East or West - we have you covered. Click here to find out the best route to the best music festival in the world or call us - 800-343-7857.


The Shoppes at MerleFest is a centrally located shopping village of vendors and official MerleFest memorabilia. Festival guests can peruse vendor booths, check email, charge cell phones, and pick up an official MerleFest t-shirt all in one spot! Vendor applications are open now.

Media Room

Here you will find our media releases, media credential request applications, high-resolution festival images, important dates and official Public Service Announcements. You will also find history about our festival and the Watson Family.

Doc Watson

Donate to the Doc Watson Fund

giving to the Doc Watson Fund and provide emergency financial assistance to Wilkes Community College students. Your gift will be recognized in the 2018 official program.

Sam Bush on stage

About MerleFest

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate ‘traditional plus’ music. We are about the MUSIC, MOMENTS and MEMORIES!



Find out everything you need to know as you plan your MerleFest experience! Check out our FAQ page for lots of helpful hints. If you still have questions, contact us at and we’ll be happy to help.