See below for gate information, safety protocol, and lineup updates

September 6, 2021 - Wilkesboro, N.C. - MerleFest, presented by Window World—Wilkesboro, North Carolina’s annual homecoming of musicians and music fans—is only one week away. As the festival nears, organizers want to remind festivalgoers of a few important details. Festival gates will open at 1:30 pm local time on Thursday and 9:30 am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. All attendees and participants will be required to show one of the following 2 options along with festival admission passes to enter the festival:

1. Proof of full vaccination. You can present your vaccination card, a paper photocopy, or cell phone photo of your card as proof of your vaccination when you arrive at the festival. Photos/photocopies must show the full card and be legible.


2. If you have not been vaccinated or do not have a vaccination card, you must show a printed or digital copy of a negative COVID-19 test performed on you within 72 hours of the time of entry.

Once you have shown a copy of your vaccination card or a copy of your negative COVID-19 test result, you will be issued a “Well wristband” identifying that you have met the safety criteria for entry into the festival. Please do not remove this wristband until the festival is over as this will be good for the entire time you are at the festival. If you lose or remove your well wristband then you will have to go through the process outlined again to receive another well wristband.

The festival strongly recommends that those needing a COVID-19 test get the test before arriving at the festival. Advance planning will save time and avoid waiting in lines. Additional information on all festival protocols can be found by visiting

Due to unforeseen circumstances, Milk Carton Kids and We Banjo 3 will no longer be performing at MerleFest and will be replaced in the lineup by Shawn Colvin and Gangstagrass, respectively. Shawn Colvin, along with David Childers, will replace Milk Carton Kids as judges in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.

Additionally, Andy May’s annual MerleFest Acoustic Kids Showcase will no longer be held for the health and safety of its young participants. Andy and Lauren May released a statement that reads, “We are very sorry to have to let you know that we have decided we must cancel all Acoustic Kids Showcases scheduled for fall, 2021. This was not an easy decision. However, in light of the uncertainty surrounding the current COVID outbreak; out of concern for everyone's health and well-being (including our own); and following our doctor's emphatic advice, we see no viable alternative.” Although very disappointed, they look forward to next year’s festival with the hope that things will be back to normal.

Don’t forget to download the MerleFest app to help plan your festival experience. The MerleFest app can point you towards a variety of on-site activities for all ages. In between musical sets, the Shoppes at MerleFest is a centrally located shopping village of commercial vendors, official MerleFest memorabilia, and services such as first aid, lost and found, and internet access. Tickets for this year’s festival may be purchased at

About MerleFest: MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the son of the late American music legend Doc Watson, renowned guitarist Eddy Merle Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of "traditional plus" music, a unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including old-time, classic country, bluegrass, folk and gospel, and blues, and expanded to include Americana, classic rock, and many other styles. The festival hosts a diverse mix of artists on its 13 stages during the course of the multi-day event. MerleFest is the primary fundraiser for the WCC Foundation, funding scholarships, capital projects, and other educational needs.

About Window World®: Window World®, headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., is America’s largest replacement window and exterior remodeling company, with more than 200 locally owned franchises nationwide. Founded in 1995, the company sells and installs windows, siding, doors and other exterior products, with over 19 million windows sold to date. Window World is an ENERGY STAR® partner and its windows, vinyl siding and Therma-Tru doors have all earned the Good Housekeeping Seal. Through its charitable foundation, Window World Cares®, Window World and its franchisees provide funding for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®. Since its inception in 2008, the foundation has raised over $11.75 million for St. Jude. Window World also supports veterans and the military through its Window World Military Initiative (WWMI). WWMI defines Window World’s commitment to honor and serve America’s veterans, active military and military families across the entire franchise system by focusing on three pillars: Careers, Community Outreach and Partnerships. The Veterans Airlift Command has been a partner since 2008. During that time, Window World has contributed over $2.5 million in flights and donations to the organization. For more information, visit or call 1-800 NEXTWINDOW. For home improvement and energy efficiency tips, décor ideas and more, follow Window World on Facebook and Twitter.

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