MerleFest 2007 Hosts Instrument Contests
MerleFest 2007, the 19th annual festival in celebration of the music of the late Merle Watson and his father, Doc Watson in Wilkesboro, will feature three outstanding instrument contests during the first two days of the April 2629 event.
Any MerleFest 2007 ticket holder except for past champions and artists performing at MerleFest may enter these competitions for guitar, mandolin, and banjo. For each contest, 20 registrants will be randomly selected from all those who register on time. The 20 chosen for each contest will join the second and third place finishers from last year's competition. Only the actual contestants may wait in line, no substitutes or placeholders.
Merle Fest will again present a major league guitar summit, the 16th Doc Watson Guitar Championship. This high profile contest for acoustic, flatpick guitarists will happen on Friday afternoon, April 27, from 3 to 5:45 p.m. at the Alumni Hall Lounge on the Wilkes Community College campus. Registration takes place in the Alumni Hall lobby between 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. on Friday.
Registration for the 13th annual Merle Watson Bluegrass Banjo Championship takes place in the Alumni Hall Lobby at Wilkes Community College between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 27. The competition begins at 10 a.m. In keeping with Merle Watson's identification with the 5-string banjo and North Carolina's fame for having spawned the bluegrass three-finger style, this event has become one of the nation's foremost banjo contests.
MerleFest presents the 11th annual Merlefest Mandolin Contest from 3 to 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, at the Alumni Hall Lounge on the Wilkes Community College campus. Registration takes place in the Alumni Hall lobby between 3 and 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Among those joining Doc Watson and Merle's son, Richard Watson, for MerleFest 2007 are Blue Highway; Sam Bush; Cherryholmes; Elvis Costello; John Cowan Band; Donna The Buffalo; Jerry Douglas; The Duhks; Bla Fleck; Paul Geremia; John Hammond; Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver; Del McCoury Band; Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet; Darrell Scott; the Legendary Earl Scruggs with Family and Friends; Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives; Pam Tillis; The Waybacks; and many others.
Tickets for MerleFest 2007 are on sale now. Those with Internet access may acquire tickets by visiting www.merlefest.org and, if purchasing assigned seats at the Watson Stage, actually pick their seat locations online. Those without Internet access may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-343-7857. Tickets may also be ordered by fax (336-838-6263) and mail (MerleFest; P.O. Box 120; Wilkesboro, NC 28697). Those interested in volunteering for MerleFest should call 336-838-6414. Vendor information requests should be made to 336-838-6292, and sponsorship inquiries should be directed to 336-838-6423.
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