MerleFest Announces Initial 2018 Lineup & Midnight Jam

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The annual MerleFest music festival will take place April 26 – 29 on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Organizers have revealed the initial lineup of performers heading to the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains next year.

Leading the 2018 MerleFest lineup are headliners Kris Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson and Robert Earl Keen. Among the additional confirmed acts heading to MerleFest next year includes Peter Rowan, Sam Bush Band, Donna the Buffalo, Pete & Joan Wernick, The Lonely Heartstring Band, The Mastersons, The Devil Makes Three, Balsam Range and the Atlanta Pops Orchestra Ensemble, Paul Thorn’s Mission Temple Fireworks Revival featuring The Blind Boys of Alabama and The McCrary Sisters, and several others.

The Bluegrass Situation will present this year’s Midnight Jam on Saturday, April 28. The “after-hours hootenanny” will be hosted by Jim Lauderdale and Town Mountain.

“Today, MerleFest is proud to announce more than 75 artists who are part of the festival’s 2018 lineup, commemorating the 31st year of the festival,” said Steve Johnson, MerleFest artist relations manager. “MerleFest welcomes back five special artists that have played all 31 years: Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Peter Rowan, Joe Smothers and Jack Lawrence. The initial lineup reflects the musical diversity and quality of performers who are the hallmark of the festival,”

Tickets to MerleFest 2018, as well as the Midnight Jam, go on sale today, Tuesday, November 14 at 12 p.m. ET.

MerleFest 2018 Initial Lineup

  • Aaron Burdett
  • Alberti Flea Circus
  • Andrew Collins Trio
  • Andy May
  • Ari Eisinger
  • Ashley Heath and Her Heathens
  • Banknotes
  • Bill Mathis
  • Bob Hill
  • Bryan Sutton
  • Brynmor
  • Cane Mill Road
  • Cardboard Fox
  • Carol Rifkin
  • Jeanette Queen
  • Mark Queen
  • Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer
  • Charles Welch
  • Cicada Rhythm
  • David Holt and Josh Goforth
  • Dead Horses
  • Donna the Buffalo
  • Doolin
  • Elephant Sessions
  • Erin Harpe
  • Flatland Harmony Experiment
  • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
  • Fireside Collective
  • Gunner & Smith
  • Hannah Shira Naiman
  • Happy Traum
  • Horsemen Let’s Ride
  • Hubby Jenkins
  • Hummingbird Crossing
  • Jack Lawrence
  • Jayme Stone’s Folklife
  • Jeanette Williams Band
  • Jeff Little Trio
  • Jeffrey Foucault
  • Jody Carroll
  • Joe Mullins and the Radio Ramblers
  • Joe Smothers
  • Junior Appalachian Musicians Band
  • Laura Boosinger
  • Lauren and Lane
  • Lindsay Lou
  • Lillian Chase
  • The Lonesome Ace Stringband
  • Lori King and Junction 63
  • Mark Bumgarner
  • Mike Aiken Band
  • Mitch Greenhill
  • My Bubba
  • Note Ropers
  • Nu-Blu
  • Pete & Joan Wernick
  • Peter Rowan
  • Piper Jones
  • The Po Ramblin’ Boys
  • Richard Ray Farrell
  • Richie and Rosie
  • Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley
  • Robin and Linda Williams
  • Rosie & the Riveters
  • Roy Book Binder
  • Sam Bush Band
  • Sarah Jane Scouten
  • Savannah Smith and Southern Soul
  • Scythian
  • Sideline
  • Smitty and the JumpStarters
  • Steve and Ruth Smith
  • String Madness
  • T Michael Coleman Band
  • Ted Olson
  • Tennessee Jed Fisher
  • Terry Baucom’s Dukes of Drive
  • The Barefoot Movement
  • The BattleAxe Band
  • The East Pointers
  • The Hackwells
  • The InterACTive Theatre of Jef
  • The Kruger Brothers
  • The Lang Sisters
  • The Local Boys
  • The Lonely Heartstring Band
  • The Mastersons
  • The Midatlantic Band
  • The New River Drifters
  • The Waybacks
  • The Wildmans
  • Susana and Timmy Abell
  • Tony Williamson Band
  • Unspoken Tradition
  • Virginia Hollow
  • The Way Down Wanderers
  • Wayland
  • Wayne Henderson
  • Wesley Bright & The Honeytones
  • Whitewater Bluegrass Company
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