Preparations are well underway for MerleFest 2010, which begins next Thursday, April 29, and runs through Sunday, May 2, on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina.
Merlfest is now in its 23rd year after being founded in 1988 in memory of Doc Watson’s son, Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and a celebration of traditional plus music.
Merlfest features four days of performances by over 100 artists on 15 stages. As in previous years, the list of performers fits the traditional plus definition offered by Doc Watson when describing the rich musical diversity that is a hallmark of the event.Â Sounds of bluegrass, blues, gospel, country and Americana will fill the air. The award-winning lineup represents a group of artists who have collectively earned over 20 Grammy Awards, 46 International Bluegrass Music Awards and 4 Americana Music Association Awards, among many others.
Doc Watson himself was awarded the National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988; received the National Medal of the Arts from President Clinton in 1997; and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences at the 2004 Grammy Awards show.
The complete lineup and stage schedules are posted at www.merlefest.org. Fans at MerleFest can also expect the unexpected, with special surprises, spontaneous jam sessions and one-of-a-kind musical collaborations.
If you’re in North Carolina in April, you need to do Merlfest.