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Get Your Tickets Now for Doc and Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest N Sugar Grove, July 15-16

By Jessica Isaacs | jessica@highcountrypress.com

The Doc and Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest N’ Sugar Grove has been a popular local tradition for nearly two decades. However, tucked away in the quiet countryside of western Watauga County, this two-day festival series remains a hidden gem in the High Country.

This year, MusicFest is slated for Friday and Saturday, July 15-16 and tickets are on sale now.

First established in 1997, the festival pays tribute to North Carolina flat-picking legend and Deep Gap native Doc Watson, who headlined the festival every year until his passing in 2012.

MusicFest N Sugar Grove
MusicFest N Sugar Grove

The celebration takes place on the lawn of the historic Cove Creek School, a WPA-era stone building that holds much of the county’s history within its walls.

An impressive line-up of veteran performers and promising up-and-comers will take the stage again this year to honor Watson’s legacy with two days of unforgettable tunes under the glowing summer sun.

Proceeds from the event will support community development projects in economically distressed areas of the county, as well as the Doc and Merle Watson Folk Art Museum, which is located inside the school building and serves as a living tribute to Doc’s life and music.

Doc’s legacy of extraordinary talent paired with a truly humble spirit lives on through this annual festival, which couples world-renowned music with a peaceful, easy weekend among the hills and valleys of the Sugar Grove community.

Mark your calendar, get your tickets and pack your favorite lawn chair as you prepare to unwind with some of the best local, regional and national names in Appalachian music.

Take a stroll through the museum, shop crafts from local artisans, try food from on-site vendors, pick up performer merchandise, kick back to enjoy the music and even mingle with the musicians at this one-of-a-kind festival.

Bring your friends and make some new ones at MusicFest N’ Sugar Grove this year — you’ll be glad you did.

MusicFest is made possible by Cove Creek Preservation and Development, the Mast General Store and other sponsors.

Continue reading for the lineup and ticket information.


Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley. MusicFest N Sugar Grove
Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley
The Grascals. MusicFest N Sugar Grove
The Grascals


Call 828-297-2200 or visit musicfestnsugargrove.org to get your tickets now. Ask about special group rates. Children 12 and under are free with a paying adult. Tickets will also be available at the gate. Advance ticket sales end at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 13.

The Cove Creek School is located at 207 Dale Adams Road in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, 28679.

Please remember festival rules: no glass, no coolers, no tents and no pets.

Friday General Admission: $20

Saturday General Admission: $25

Two-Day General Admission: $40

Two-Day Reserved Seats: $55


The gates will open at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 15 and at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 16.


3 p.m. — Opening Ceremony

3:15-4 p.m. — Strictly Strings

4:15 p.m. — Andy Ferrell

5:30-6:30 p.m. — Clay Lunsford

6:45-7:45 p.m. — The Honey Chasers

8-9:30 p.m. — Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley

9:30-10 p.m. — Jam session


3:15-4 p.m. — Mike Preslar

4:15-5:15 p.m. — Ashley Heath

5:30-6:30 p.m. — Broke Holler


11 a.m. to Noon — Cane Mill Road

12:15-1:15 p.m. — Ashley Heath

1:30-2:30 p.m. — Amantha Mill

2:45-3:45 p.m. — Jim Lloyd

4-5:15 p.m. — Snyder Family Band

5:15-5:45 — Break

5:45-6:30 p.m. — Charles Welch

6:45-7:45 p.m. — Claybank

8-9:30 p.m. — The Grascals

9:30-10 p.m. — Jam session


11-11:45 a.m. — Mike Preslar

Noon to 1 p.m. — Broke Holler

1:15-2:15 p.m. — Brandon Holder

2:30-3:30 p.m. — TBA

3:45-4:45 p.m. — Clinchfield Mountain Boys

5-6 p.m. — TBA