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Merlefest moving to September 2021

Merlefest moving to September 2021

MerleFest (copy)

Andew Millsaps won a songwriting competition at Merlefest in April 2019.

MerleFest organizers announced Monday that they will move the annual traditional music festival to Sept. 16-19, 2021.

MerleFest  will return to its customary April weekend in 2022, according to Ted Hagaman, director. The 2020 festival was canceled because of public safety concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We chose to announce this change now to give everyone an opportunity to put this on their calendar and to allow us time to secure all artists and contract the necessary support services,” Hagaman said. 

MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of guitarist Eddy Merle Watson, the son of the late music legend Doc Watson. It is a celebration of "traditional-plus" music, a mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk, gospel and blues. It has also expanded to include Americana, classic rock, and other styles. The festival hosts the diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the multi-day event. It is the primary fundraiser for the Wilkesboro Community College Foundation, funding scholarships, building projects, and other educational needs.

More information and updates will be at

Photos: MerleFest 2019

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