Merle Fest Virtual Concert

Virtual Merle Fest scheduled.

Virtual Merle Fest scheduled.

Merle Fest Virtual Concert scheduled. Music fans can view 2012 broadcast of MerleFest from Wilkesboro, NC. this weekend. The current pandemic caused the cancellation of this year’s Merle Fest in Wilkesboro, NC, but Smoky Mountain music fans and the more than  20,000 visitors who have attended the event from around the nation will be happy to hear that a special broadcast of the 2012 MerleFest, named in memory of Doc Watson’s late son, Eddie Merle Watson, is available this weekend April 23-26 As a thank you to every fan who has attended and supported MerleFest over the years, this broadcast is presented free of charge. Simply 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. Fans can stream here starting April 23 at 1 p.m. and April 24-26 at 9:30 a.m.

Merle Fest is the perfect venue for any music lover! Photo credit - Carolina music fests

Merle Fest is the perfect venue for any music lover! Photo credit – Carolina music fests

Fans were rightfully disappointed when this year’s MerleFest (where Willie Nelson, and the recently deceased John Prine, who succumbed recently to COVID-19, were both scheduled to appear) proved a no-go but are delighted that a special broadcast of the 2012 broadcast of the 2012 Watson and Cabin stages will be available during this MerleFest weekend. Scheduled April 23-26 this broadcast holds a special place in the history of the festival. It marks the last time that legendary Doc Watson graced the MerleFest stage (he played that Sunday and passed away the following May.) In lieu of their annual gathering of music fans and musicians from across the globe, MerleFest, presented by Window World, announced a rebroadcast of the Watson and Cabin stages from the 2012 MerleFest weekend. Performances from every stage cannot be streamed (there are actually 13 venues at MerleFest) but everything from the Watson Stage (the main stage) and the adjacent Cabin Stage will be broadcast. This includes legendary performances by Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Los Lobos, Punch Brothers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Alison Krauss & Union Station.

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,” said festival director Ted Hagaman. “Reliving Doc’s final festival will bring back wonderful music, moments, and memories for all to enjoy. We appreciate Window World for making this happen.”

Tammy Whitorth, Chairman and CEO of Window World, the festival’s presenting sponsor since 2015 said “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 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.

On April 23-24 audio from select sets will air locally on WNCW and internationally at wncw.org. Listeners can tune in throughout the day to hear rare recordings straight from the MerleFest archives. WNCW has served as the official MerleFest Radio Partner for more than 20 years.

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