Guest Author - Chris Curtis
I usually go to Jazzfest which conflicts with Merlefest but my friends invited me to come this year. This is my 1st time and it is a very different experience from Jazzfest. Spectacular with a very nice variety of music. Really nice and I enjoyed it but found it difficult getting around all the venues. Bud Gleason, Atlanta, 72 years old
Greatest thing that that has ever happened to this community. It's a gift and I wouldn't miss it for anything. In 19 years, I've only missed 1 day because I was too sick to get out of bed. Vic, Wilkesboro Resident, 52 years old
It's like coming home again! Steve Bryant, Raleigh, NC, 54 years old – This was the 3rd year Steve and his wife attended the festival and he explained that he had grown up in the next county.
Kudo's to the organizers. This festival goes off without a hitch year after year. How do they do it? Marylou Johnson, Athens, Georgia – 38 yo
Good blending of different genres of music; there is something for everyone here. Music is what brings people together. Libby Hanes, Jonesville, NC, 50 years old, 3 year volunteer
If you seek a pleasant festival, look about you. Dale Hess, 2nd year attendee, 50s
Pretty interesting with lots of music from different genres. I like the bluegrass and particularly enjoyed David Holt and Doc Watson. This is my first trip here. Seth Rhinehart, 13 years old
Where else could you go with 80,000 other people and have such a grand time of it? Bob, Flat Rock, NC, 47 years old
I've been coming since I was first born and have never missed a festival with my parents. The music is part of me and I look forward to it each year. Michael, Bristol VA, 15 years old
It's wonderful! I absolutely love the music because it reenergizes you. I used to go to the Union Grove Fiddlersfest for many years but hadn't been in years. This is my 1st time here and it's been fun. My daughter and granddaughter invited me to come with them. Caroline, Alexandria VA, 70 years old. (I watched Caroline for a while before I approached her and it was clear that she was a joyful woman)
This festival is over the top bringing in Bob Weir. WOW! What a set! Adam, Roanoak, VA, 30 years old.
This is my first Merlefest. I live in Charlotte and go to Greyfox in NY every year. I don't know why its taken me so long to make it here. So many choices, so little time. This will be an annual pilgrimage. Susie, Charlotte, NC – 42 yo
I'm seven years old and I LOVE MERLEFEST Krystin James, NJ, 7 years old – Editor note: Said with such enthusiasm
For more information on the festival check out the Merlefest website.
For more pictures of Merlefest 2006 - Checkout
Photo's by Big Al by permission
Photos by Chris Curtis
If you want to get a flavor of the festival, you might consider one or more of these recordings.