Camping at MerleFest 2016: Don’t Miss Out on the Perfect Spot for You!

Published Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 9:40 am

merlefest camping

By Bailey Faulkner

Spring is in the air in the High Country. That can mean only one thing — MerleFest is just around the corner. While the event is famous for the incredible musical acts that perform each year, hanging out at the various campsites around the festival can be every bit as memorable.

Lucky for festivalgoers, a wide array of camping options offers an experience that can suit nearly any music lover. From campfire jams to ultimate relaxation, you will be able to find the site that is perfect for you.

If you’re interested in camping out at the event, you should look into reserving a spot as soon as you can. Campsites are filling up quickly, so don’t miss out on your chance to camp out in true MerleFest fashion.

MerleFest will be held from Thursday, April 28 to Sunday, May 1 this year. The event takes place in Wilkesboro and is held on the Wilkes Community College campus.

Here are the most popular MerleFest campsites. If you know of any other neat places to camp near the festival, feel free to include additional information in the comments section below this article!

North Wilkesboro Rotary & Fire Department Camping

North Wilkesboro Rotary Campsite

North Wilkesboro Rotary Campsite/

The North Wilkesboro Rotary & Fire Department Camping site will be located three miles away from MerleFest at the North Wilkesboro Rotary Park. The site is known for its flexible RV and tent camping options.

All of the full RV hook-up sites at the campground have already been sold out, but “dry” RV camping — including free water and a dump station — is still available.

The site offers weekly rates, but nightly rates are also available. Unlike many sites, a minimum stay requirement is not enforced.

Camping begins on Wednesday, April 27 and ends on Monday, May 2.

Rates are:

Tent camping:                                  $70 weekly, $30 nightly

RV camping (no hook-ups):          $95 weekly, $40 nightly

For additional information, check out the campsite’s website at:

The Wilkes YMCA Campground at Rivers Edge Park

The Wilkes YMCA Campground at Rivers Edge Park is conveniently located near both MerleFest and MerleFest’s Blue Lot.

The Wilkes Family YMCA added 8,800 square feet to its facility in June and has recently become a CrossFit affiliate. The site also added the KaBOOM community playground last year. The YMCA hopes that campers and their families will take advantage of the new facilities.

There are 70 regular tent camping sites, 25 campfire sites and 10 pop-up van or small camper sites at the location. One tent and one vehicle are allowed per site.

Reservation prices depend on when sites are reserved. You can reserve sites Thursday through Saturday, or pay an extra fee to stay additional nights (Wednesday and Sunday). The rates are:

Feb 1 – March 31 registration:                 $120, $30 per extra day

April 1 – April 23 registration:                $150, $30 per extra day

The site includes hot showers, regular shuttles to MerleFest and an outdoor restroom and picnic complex.

The family-oriented site prohibits drugs, alcohol and animals. There will be a security guard monitoring the site from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each day of the festival.

You can reserve your spot by either mailing a registration form with a cashier’s check or money order, or you can order over the phone at 336-838-3991 with a credit card.

All proceeds will go towards the Open Doors financial assistance program. Open Doors helps provide community members with scholarships for YMCA programs.

For additional information, check out the campsite’s website at:

Dancin’ Dave’s Festival Camping

Dancin' Dave Camp Supplies

Dancin’ Dave Camp Supplies/

Dancin’ Dave’s Festival Camping can help you “take the ‘rough’ out of roughing it.” Camping packages include nearly everything needed for a great camping experience.

The service provides tents of varying sizes. Prices also vary with tent size. You can add sleeping bags and pillows for an additional $15 per camper. Most tents also come with cots. Additionally, kitchen and solar shower options are available for an additional fee.

Dancin’ Dave can help you set up camp at any of the popular campsites in the area.

The site offers weekly rates. Standard prices are:

Small tent:                 $145

Medium tent:            $195

Large tent:                 $250

Jumbo tent:               $320

For additional information, check out the service’s website at:

VFW Campground

VFW Wilkes

VFW Wilkes Campsite/

The VFW Campground hosts the “friendliest MerleFest camping this side of the Mississippi.” The site encourages campers to bring instruments for late night jamming and fun.

Located near downtown North Wilkesboro just three miles from US Highway 421, the site includes indoor hot showers and restrooms. There will be 48 RV full hook-up sites, 12 RV partial hook-up sites and 15 acres of tent camping.

Just a few miles from MerleFest, the site offers free shuttles to and from the event.

The campsite allows pets but asks owners to be responsible with their furry friends.

The site offers Thursday through Saturday packages, but also offers additional nights for an extra charge. The rates are:

RV full hook-up:                  $150, $50 for additional nights

RV partial hook-up:                        $120, $40 for additional nights

Camper, no hook-up:          $90, $30 for additional nights

Tent camping:                      $70, $25 for additional nights

For additional information, check out the campsite’s website at:

Wilkesboro Fire Department Campground (Sewerfest)

Although located near the Wilkesboro Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Wilkesboro Fire Department Campground seems more like a park than a waste treatment plant.

Dubbed “Sewerfest” by campers over the years, the campsite is located one mile east of downtown Wilkesboro and two miles east of Wilkes Community College.

If you’re worried that its close proximity to the waste treatment plant will be a problem, don’t worry! In the 15 years that campers have been attending Sewerfest, nobody has complained about odors or other undesirable conditions.

The site is made up of 69 acres of land that are used mostly for camping. The site contains approximately 500 tent sites and 150 RV sites. There is also a dumpsite available.

Sewerfest is famous for its late night pickin’ so don’t forget to bring out your instruments!

The site offers two heated and air-conditioned shower houses. A local church provides free shuttles to and from Merlefest, although donations are appreciated. All donations go towards the church’s Youth Fund. The site also provides free ice and firewood. Food will also be sold at the site.

Tent sites will be $80 per weekend. All proceeds will go to the Retired Fireman’s Fund.

You can find the reservation form and additional information on the campsite’s website at:

Masonic Campsites on Moravian Creek — Liberty Lodge

The family-friendly campsite at Liberty Lodge is located across the creek from the Watson Stage at MerleFest. The site is only a ten minute, dry walk to the event.

Each campsite is approximately 20’ x 20’ and can host one vehicle and as many campers as desired. There is also overflow parking available for $10 per vehicle.

The site has few rules other than The Golden Rule, so you should just be good and respect your fellow campers!

Breakfast will be sold on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The site offers indoor heated showers and indoor and outdoor toilet facilities.

Camping rates depend on the time of reservation. Reservations made before Saturday will be $100, while reservations made on Saturday will be $80. If you have not camped at the lodge before, you will have to pay an additional $50 non-refundable deposit at the time of reservation.

You can send your reservation requests to [email protected].

You should check out the campsite’s website at for additional information about reservations.

MerleFest On-site RV Camping

On-site RV Camping options are available for those purchasing four-day passes.

The site does not offer electrical, sewer or water hook-ups. However, there will be a dump station on Stevens Lane. Portable toilets will also be available.

Drugs, alcohol, tobacco and animals are not allowed on campus. Glass bottles of any kind are also prohibited.

For more information about RV Camping pricing and rules at the campsite, check out the event’s ticket brochure at:

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