MerleFest moves 2021 festival to September

MerleFest, the annual mega-fest of acoustic and roots music held each spring on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC, has announced a one-time date change for their 2021 event.

The 2020 festival had been postponed until next year as soon as COVID-19 restrictions were announced this March. Today MerleFest organizers have announced that they will push back the 2021 festival from its typical late April date to a 2021-only occurrence in September.

September 16-19, 2021 will mark the return of the venerable event, which will see its 32nd running next year. Look for it to be back in April for 2022.

Festival Director, Ted Hagaman, said that changing the date was a tough call, but they feel confident it was the right one.

“After months of deliberation and extensive research with leading medical experts we feel it is in the best interest of our fans, artists, staff, college, and community to reschedule the 2021 festival to the fall. We have a reputation for providing a quality, safe, and organized festival and feel this move is necessary to again deliver that type of event. We’d like to express appreciation to many for their ‘can do’ spirit in rearranging schedules and plans to accommodate this move. I’d especially like to thank the organizers of Carolina in the Fall for agreeing to forego their festival next year in order to support our festival. It truly is a team effort in our community.”

Lineup and other specific details for MerleFest 2021 can be expected soon.

The festival was established in 1988 to honor the memory of Merle Watson, son of the great Doc Watson, with proceeds going to the Wilkes Community College Foundation, where they fund scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs of the community in this part of northwestern North Carolina.

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John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.