Anyone who has spent time in North Carolina knows there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy Bluegrass Music in North Carolina, but few Music Festivals in North Carolina can rival Merlefest. This popular festival is a great place to see Live Music in North Carolina and audiences have been captivated by its exceptional lineups since the festival first kicked off in 1988. Founded by music legend Doc Watson, Merlefest not only serves to memorialize Doc’s late son, Eddy Merle Watson, but also helps raise funds for Wilkes Community College. Produced by the Wilkes Community College Endowment Corporation, this event is one of the most anticipated in the community and draws both artists and visitors from far and wide to the campus of Wilkes Community College.
Arthel “Doc” Watson came from a musical family. Both his mother and his father loved to sing, and his musical talent became apparent in the late 1920s when his father bought the then five-year-old boy a harmonica. Later, he learned to play the banjo on a homemade instrument that was constructed using the skin of his grandmother’s cat. As Doc grew, his musical abilities flourished, and by the 1960s, he finally gained the international fame he deserved as a gifted guitar player. Doc’s son Merle began playing guitar in 1964 and the rest, as they say, is history. The talented father-son duo toured the country together, playing the music they both loved. They helped to expose many people who would not otherwise have heard it to the sounds of traditional Appalachian music and turned many into lovers of bluegrass, folk, gospel, country, and blues. Sadly, tragedy struck in 1985, ending Merle’s young life. The talented musician met his unfortunate demise when he rolled his tractor down a steep hillside. Merle’s untimely death, terrible as it was, was the catalyst that led to the celebrated music festival that has brought joy to the lives of hundreds of thousands of fans over the years.
Those planning to attend Merlefest 2010 will have the pleasure of witnessing performances by some of the most celebrated names in modern music. This year’s lineup includes over 100 spectacular acts, some of whom have already achieved world renown and others who seem destined to. The diverse array of artists includes acts like The Avett Brothers, Elvis Costello and The Sugarcanes, Dierks Bentley, legendary comedian Steve Martin, Zac Brown Band, Cadillac Sky, and, of course, Doc Watson himself. The bands and performers represent styles like bluegrass, country, folk, and more.
Merefest 2010 is scheduled to take place from April 29 to May 2, 2010. Tickets range in price from $250 for four-day admission and reserved seating to just $35 for Thursday’s half-day opening event, which starts at 2:30 p.m. Prices vary by the date and number of days you wish to attend. Not only will attendees have the opportunity to see some amazing musicians, but they’ll have the option of attending—or even participating in—some great musical contests, taking part in a raffle and silent auction, showcasing their talents during an open mic session, shopping for great souvenirs, and more. And, of course, they’ll have the opportunity to pay tribute to one of the world’s most talented musicians, the late Merle Watson.
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