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MerleFest set for next week

WILKESBORO — The annual MerleFest is set for April 27-30.

This year activities will focus on celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Doc Watson, who founded Merlefest. The event will take place on the campus of Wilkes Community College.

This year will mark MerleFest’s 35th festival. To celebrate the milestone event, organizers intend to feature MerleFest’s history and present unique collaborations to honor the festival’s founding folk icon. In addition to the Doc-Centennial, not-to-be-missed traditions include Donna The Buffalo’s opening night dance party on Thursday, The Waybacks’ Album Hour set on Saturday at the Hillside Stage, and a trio of Sunday morning gospel sets at the Creekside Stage.

MerleFest is also hosting a number of artists for their first time at the event. Among the first-timers are genre-defying and industry-challenging Americana singer Miko Marks (Friday at 12:45 p.m. on the Watson Stage), bluegrass-steeped folkster Bella White (Sunday at 1:50 p.m. on the Cabin Stage), the emotive and thoughtful songs of Tommy Prine (Saturday at 5:45 p.m. on the Americana Stage), AJ Lee & Blue Summit’s fan-favorite brand of acoustic music (Friday at 5:45 p.m. on the Americana Stage), and the transcendent southern rock of Ben Chapman (Friday at 4:15 p.m. on the Dance Stage).

Tickets for MerleFest 2023—which will feature performances by Brothers of a Feather with Chris & Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, The Avett Brothers, Maren Morris, Tanya Tucker, Nickel Creek, Little Feat, and many more—are available now. For general admission passes, reserved seating, and more, visit

Festival goers can save money by purchasing their tickets in advance of the festival’s opening day. MerleFest also encourages festival goers to download the official MerleFest mobile app ahead of this year’s festivities to keep up to date with schedules, events, and on-site information.

The WCC Foundation is once again hosting its MerleFest Mega Raffle to support scholarships at Wilkes Community College. More than $150,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded, with 3,000 tickets will be sold. The Mega Raffle drawings will be held during the festival on Sunday, April 30, at the Mega Raffle/Silent Auction Tent at 2 p.m., and ticket holders do not need to be present to win. Winners will be announced during the live drawings and notified via email and phone to confirm the prize. Raffle tickets are $100 each and include two entries to the MerleFest Mega Raffle drawings. Mega Raffle Tickets are on sale now at



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