Festival organizers announced today that MerleFest, presented by Window World, will be moving to the weekend of September 16-19, 2021. MerleFest, dubbed by Rolling Stone as “the gold standard for bluegrass, Americana, and string-music festivals,” is normally held the last weekend of April, but the 2020 festival was canceled due to public safety concerns amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. Officials stressed that this would be a one time only move to the fall and they plan to return to the traditional April weekend in 2022. “We chose to announce this change now to give everyone an opportunity to put this on their calendar and to allow us time to secure all artists and contract the necessary support services,” said Festival Director, Ted Hagaman. “Lineup information and other festival details will be coming soon.”
“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,” stated Hagaman. “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.”
About MerleFest: MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel, and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock, and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the multi-day event. MerleFest is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs.