Monday, November 3, 2014

MerleFest 2015 tickets go on sale Nov. 11

MerleFest -- one of the top annual  music festivals in the country -- has announced its 2015 dates, dozens of confirmed appearances, and that tickets will go on sale Nov. 11.

The event, held at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, will be April 23-26. The four-day showcase of Americana music was started by legendary area native Doc Watson, to honor the memory and musical prowess of his son, Merle.

Sale of tickets begins Nov. 11 at 2 p.m.; they can be purchased online ( or by phone (800-343-7857).

Initial early-bird tickets will be available through Feb. 15. Four-day reserved seating is $220 and $245; four-day general admission is $150. Per-day general admission for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday: $40, $55, $60 and $45, respectively.

A second early-bird round -- with higher prices -- will be Feb. 16 through April 22. After that, the still-higher gate price will be in effect.

In all cases, four-day ticket passes are required to qualify for add-on parking and RV options.

Roughly 90 performers were  announced Monday.

The 13 stages at the festival feature a wide variety of "roots music," from traditional bluegrass and folk to styles tinged with Celtic (Scythian) and  rockabilly (Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys). Top North Carolina-based acts announced Monday include Chatham County Line and the Kruger Brothers.

Among the headliners:

The Marshall Tucker Band, the pioneering Southern-rock stars known for such hit singles as “Can’t You See,” “Heard It in a Love Song” and “Fire on the Mountain.” 2015 will be their first MerleFest performance.

Bela Fleck and  his wife Abigail Washburn, shown above,  are internationally acclaimed banjo players. The genre-stretching Fleck is the winner of numerous Grammy awards.

Hot Rize, a bluegrass outfit of considerable note, recently released its first new album in 24 hears. Their lineup includes original members Tim O’Brien, Pete Wernick and Nick Forster, as well as Grammy-winning guitarist Bryan Sutton. They will be joined by Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers.

Del McCoury, a bluegrass legend, Grammy winner and  recent Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

The Gibson Brothers, two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer of the Year winners.

More performers will be announced.

Names, bios and MerleFest performance days of acts already scheduled can be found at