Raleigh, N.C. — Merlefest, a four-day music festival on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, kicks off Thursday.
The annual festival that celebrates the memory of musician Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music icon Doc Watson.
There will be more than 90 acts performing on 14 stages through Sunday. There will be one notable absence. For the first time in the festival's 26 year history, Watson will not be taking the stage. He passed away last May.
Special tributes to Watson are planned.
This year's performers include The Avett Brothers, Delta Rae, The Charlie Daniels Band, Steep Canyon Rangers and Gov't Mule.
As with previous years, the Hillside Album Hour and the Midnight Jam will happen on Saturday. During the Hillside Album Hour, a revered or iconic album is performed live from start to finish. Festival favorites Scythian will host this year's Midnight Jam.
You can still buy tickets to Merlefest online or by phone at 800-343-7857.