As you are well aware of by now, one of the numerous causalities of the COVID-19 Stay at Home Order are outdoor music festivals this spring. Sadly, MerleFest was one of them. Held annually for over 30 years on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC every April, this event is considered by many as the (unofficial) beginning of festival season.
In lieu of their annual gathering this year, MerleFest has announced a rebroadcast of the Watson and Cabin stage performances from the 2012 MerleFest weekend.
As a way to say thank you to every fan who has ever attended and supported MerleFest over the years, the broadcast is being presented free of charge. To listen, all you have to do is visit MerleFest.org and click the live stream link on the homepage to view the broadcast over the course of the originally scheduled MerleFest 2020 weekend, April 23-26.
MerleFest 2012 was the 25th annual homecoming and holds a special place in the history of the festival. Music legend Doc Watson played the Watson Stage alongside lifelong friends for the final time in 2012. It was the 25th year of the festival he and others started in memory of his late son, Eddie Merle Watson.
“We are thrilled to be able to bring MerleFest 2012 to our loyal fans during the days that we would normally be celebrating MerleFest 2020,” says festival director Ted Hagaman. “Reliving Doc’s final festival will bring back wonderful music, moments, and memories for all to enjoy. We appreciate sponsor, Window World, for making this happen.”
“As fellow natives of the Wilkes community, Window World is extremely disappointed to miss MerleFest this year. With the world on its head right now because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we thought it would be nice for everyone to enjoy MerleFest from the comfort and safety of their own homes. We are excited about the choice of the 2012 festival as it was Doc’s last appearance at MerleFest and one that holds a special place in our hearts. We hope this brings everyone together as we look forward to brighter days in the very near future,” said Tammy Whitworth, Chairman and CEO of Window World, the festival’s presenting sponsor since 2015.
Performances to be streamed from the MerleFest website include Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Los Lobos, Punch Brothers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Alison Krauss & Union Station. Fans can find the link to the live stream by visiting the www.MerleFest.org website starting Thursday at 1:00 p.m. EDT and Friday-Sunday at 9:30 a.m. EDT.