Hosted by Doc Watson "(t)he four-day-long festival was founded in 1988 and now attracts more than 85,000 participants, making it the largest folk music festival in the United States." Link
The 2008 line-up is here.
The performance stages:
The Watson Stage features the biggest and the best in Americana music.
The Cabin Stage offers some of the finest acoustic music available.
The Mayes Pit Learning Stage provides intensive instructional sessions on mandolin, guitar, dobro, fiddle, banjo, bass, and more.
The Traditional Stage features the best in traditional music.
The Dance Stage offers everything from clogging to Cajun dances, all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and Friday/Saturday nights.
The Chris Austin Stage is the place to be for some of the best songwriting and blues to be heard anywhere.
The Creekside Stage has proven to be a favorite spot for workshops in everything from instruments to vocals and is the location of our huge gospel-fest on Sunday.
The Little Pickers Family Area offers a lot of fun and games for the children (and the young at heart) as well as some fine storytelling, songwriting, and music.
The Hillside Stage offers an opportunity to see many MerleFest artists up close and jamming.
Walker Center performances offer a chance to relax in comfortable seating in one of the finest acoustic halls in the Southeast. Friday and Saturday night special concerts and performances are scheduled.
The Americana Stage offers a relaxed presentation of festival artists on the lawn across from the WCC Visitors Center.
The Lounge, inside Alumni Hall, hosts the MerleFest Guitar, Banjo, and Mandolin contests. Also come by on Friday night for the Songwriters Coffeehouse starting at 8:00 pm.
There's a lot to see and do there but if it is as fun as it was last year, when Elvis Costello headlined on Saturday night, I'll be happy.