MerleFest announces Initial 2012 Lineup

MerleFest 25, presented by Lowe?s and slated for April 26 to 29, 2012, is proud to announce the initial lineup for the music festival?s 25th year.

The four-day event will once again take place on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro. MerleFest is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans, gathering to celebrate the memory of musician Eddy Merle Watson, beloved son of American music icon and Deep Gap resident Doc Watson.

Organizers said the initial lineup reflects the diversity and quality of performers that have become the hallmark of the four-day festival, adding that MerleFest is known for its unique mix of traditional, roots-oriented music from the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, blues, country, Celtic, Cajun, cowboy, zydeco, rock and many other styles that Doc Watson has referred to as ?traditional plus.?

?This year?s initial lineup will bring back a little nostalgia for the core MerleFest audience, those fans who return year after year to hear the traditional sounds of roots music,? festival director Ted Hagaman said. ?We have some of the leading names in the music industry, of today and yesteryear, lined up to perform at the historic 25th festival.

?The MerleFest 25 lineup is made up of many of the artists who have helped make this festival the premier, internationally-recognized event that it has become. And, we are thrilled to welcome back that core fan base that has been with us for the ride all along and welcome a whole new generation of fans to experience the music, moments and memories that make MerleFest so special.?

The following artists will join host Doc Watson at MerleFest 25: Richard Watson, Susana and Timmy Abell, Alberti Flea Circus, Banknotes, Blind Boy Chocolate and The Milk Sheiks, Roy Book Binder, Laura Boosinger, The Boxcars, Jeffery Broussard and The Creole Cowboys, Buffalo Barfield, Sam Bush, T. Michael Coleman, Dailey & Vincent, The Deep Dark Woods, Dehlia Low, Donna the Buffalo, Casey Driessen, Enter the Haggis, Bela Fleck & The Flecktones (original lineup), Mary Flower, The Gibson Brothers, The Greencards, Mitch Greenhill, Stefan Grossman, Wayne Henderson, Bob Hill, David Holt, The Honeycutters, Sierra Hull and Highway 111, the InterACTive Theater of Jef, Fruteland Jackson, Johnson?s Crossroad, Jubal?s Kin, Kickin? Grass Band, The Kruger Brothers, Jim Lauderdale, Jack Lawrence, Jeff Little, The Local Boys, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Claire Lynch Band, Dougie MacLean, Bill Mathis, Andy May, Cliff Miller, Misty River, Nashville Bluegrass Band, The Neighbors, Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile, Red June, Tony Rice, Michael Roach, Peter Rowan and the Free Mexican Airforce, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Scythian, The Sigmon Stringers, Sims Country Cloggers, Steve and Ruth Smith, Joe Smothers, Snyder Family Band, The Steel Wheels, Steep Canyon Rangers, Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives, Tut Taylor, Tedeschi Trucks Band, ToneBlazers, Happy Traum, The Waybacks, Pete and Joan Wernick, The Wild Rumpus, Tony Williamson, Wylie & The Wild West and Zephyr Lightning Bolts.

?The initial lineup is already incredibly exciting and diverse, but it is dynamic,? Hagaman said. ?We will be adding to the lineup in the days and months to come. MerleFest fans can get up-to-the-minute lineup additions and other festival news through our social media ventures. So, staying in touch with us via our electronic newsletter, website (, Facebook and Twitter is crucial.?

The MerleFest box office will open for 2012 ticket sales on Tuesday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. Ticket purchases can be made at or by calling 1-800-343-7857. An early bird ticket discount is available through March 12, 2012.

?Throughout the years, one of the major factors that has built MerleFest is the quality of the artists and performances that our guests see over the four days of the festival,? Hagaman said. ?That, in turn, creates another important element of MerleFest?s success: People truly feel that the festival is a great value. That?s probably best expressed by the fact that so many music fans and families return year after year, making MerleFest a regular spring tradition. We?re tremendously proud of what we?ve built ? and at MerleFest 25, that tradition will continue.?

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