MerleFest 2015: Initial Lineup Announced

Belá Fleck and Abigail Washburn
Belá Fleck and Abigail Washburn

MerleFest 2015

Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, will host MereleFest 2015 April 23 – 26. This four-day event, an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans, will feature southern rock, folk, and blues-y acts like The Marshall Tucker Band, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, and the North Mississippi Allstars.

The festival is known for it’s unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region and MerleFest attendees can expect a multi-genre experience that features bluegrass, Americana, blues, country, Celtic, Cajun, cowboy, zydeco, rock and much more. “We are keeping Doc Watson’s ‘Traditional Plus’ spirit alive for MerleFest 2015. The festival will showcase a wide variety of music from multiple genres. With artists and bands like The Marshall Tucker Band, Belá Fleck and Abigail Washburn, The North Mississippi Allstars, and Del McCoury, it’s sure to be a great weekend of music,” says Steve Johnson, Artist Relations Manager at MerleFest. “And, the lineup isn’t finished yet. We will announce more great artists in the coming months. We have some special “moments” planned and the possibility for the ‘unplanned special moments’ is highly likely given the combination of artists that are known to collaborate at MerleFest.”

Belá Fleck and Abigail Washburn
Belá Fleck and Abigail Washburn

This year’s festival will feature a new-tiered pricing schedule. “It’s always a thrill for us to announce the performers at MerleFest each year, because we take pride in always presenting a lineup that is dynamic and diverse,” says Ted Hagaman, festival director. “It’s the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the four days of the festival that, in turn, creates another important element of MerleFest’s success: people truly feel that the festival is a great value. So many music fans and families return year after year, making MerleFest a regular spring tradition. We will always work to make that tradition continue.”

“Regarding value, we’ve instituted a new pricing structure this year. Those who plan ahead will appreciate the discounts that our ‘early bird’ tier pricing offers,” adds Hagaman.

These early bird tickets will go on sale Tuesday, November 11 through February 15th, 2015. Be sure to get your tickets early to get the best deal! If you miss out on the first round, tier 2 tickets will run February 16th – April 22nd, and third tier will be gate prices. Keep an eye on the lineup for more additions to the festival here!


The Gibson Brothers
The Gibson Brothers

Initial Lineup Sneak Peak:

The Marshall Tucker Band – These Southern rock titans can claim such classic radio staples as “Can’t You See,” “Heard It in a Love Song” and “Fire on the Mountain.” While they have toured the world since their first album in 1973, this is their first time performing at MerleFest.

Belá Fleck and Abigail Washburn – NPR recently stated that the “husband-and-wife banjo adventurers with divergent areas of specialty – is notable for its understated, welcoming calm. Across carefully arranged slivers of Americana, Fleck and Washburn explore roots music using the tones and coloration options that arise when two banjos join in conversation.”

North Mississippi Allstars – Pioneering their own brand of blues-infused rock ‘n’ roll, the North Mississippi Allstars have earned the reputation as one of the most intriguing acts to emerge from the rich soil of the Deep South. As Rolling Stone has noted, “The Allstars may be children of tradition, but they’re digging deep in undiscovered country.”

Hot Rize with Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers – One of the most heralded bands in contemporary bluegrass returns to MerleFest! Hot Rize – with original members Tim O’Brien, Pete Wernick and Nick Forster, along with Grammy-winning guitarist Bryan Sutton – have just released their first new album in 24 years, “When I’m Free,” which debuted at the top of the bluegrass charts. Hot Rize will be joined by Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers.

Del McCoury – Among the most distinguished practitioners of traditional bluegrass, this recent Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee shows no sign of slowing in his 75th year, picking up his second Grammy for the 2013 release “The Streets of Baltimore.”

The Gibson Brothers – Two-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year, The Gibson Brothers’ most recent bluegrass album, “They Called It Music,” spent six months at the top of the album charts in 2013. The brothers’ first new project for Rounder Records is due out early in 2015.

Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis – Two of the most respected performers in the Americana world, this Texas husband and wife have recently released the critically acclaimed “Our Year.” This will be the first time that the “Bruce and Kelly Show” takes the stage at MerleFest.


Written by FestPop Staff Writer
Karli Jaenike
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