I’ve lived in Western North Carolina for 40 years and had never been to MerleFest until a few weeks ago. I always WANTED to go, but each year came and went and I was never able to get it together to get up there. This is the thing about travel sometimes and I’m as guilty of this as anyone…. Because I had never been, I worried how would I pull off going? Where would I stay? What would it be like?
I’m here today to tell you when I set my mind to going, (Kris Kristofferson was a headliner and I really, really wanted to see him in person) I was able to put a plan in action, be patient, make connections, put all the pieces together over a three-month period, and see the plan unfold in my favor! It all worked out and I had a blast! Am I ever sorry I waited all these years!
MerleFest is one of the most organized music events I’ve ever attended with an amazing lineup of talent. This was the 31st year and I would venture to say the festival’s four day audience exceeded at least 80,000 participants. But I never felt overwhelmed by the crowd. Everyone was so nice and friendly and certainly knew how to have a good time.
MerleFest is like a big camp for musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, with no alcohol! The festival originated as a simple, loving idea to cultivate the campus gardens and overtime grew to honor the memory of Doc Watson’s son Eddy Merle Watson and become a celebration of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of our Appalachian region.
Some highlights of MerleFest 2018 are included in the conversations I had with some of this year’s performers in their element.
You just can’t come away from MerleFest without hearing so much great music and seeing so many talented musicians. I had an incredible time and plan on returning again and again. And I got a great t-shirt! Sometimes you have to go for it.