Article Published: Sep. 20, 2012 | Modified: Sep. 20, 2012
Beginning Oct. 1, MerleFest will begin accepting online
applications for its popular volunteer program for the 2013 festival. MerleFest 2013 will take place
organizers, anyone wishing to volunteer should complete an application early, because slots fill up
quickly. The Volunteer Opportunities section of the MerleFest website, http://www.merlefest.org,
additional details about volunteering at MerleFest.
With more than 800 individuals
participating each year, MerleFest volunteers are considered vital to the success of the festival.
While some come from the surrounding community to help out, volunteers for the festival also come
from all over the world, many of whom make their work at MerleFest an annual
An obvious benefit to being a MerleFest volunteer is admittance into
the festival: Each volunteer receives free entry for each day a shift is worked (usually three to
five hours long); volunteers can work one, two, three or all four days of the festival. Also, all
MerleFest volunteers receive a commemorative pin as a gift for their service.
vast network of volunteers who support MerleFest help make the festival a highly successful
fundraiser, as well. As the festival benefits Wilkes Community College, volunteers – while working
on campus – get to experience the buildings, gardens and instructional programs that the monies
raised through MerleFest make possible each year.
Lee K. Cornett, the new
MerleFest volunteer coordinator, urges music fans to consider the MerleFest volunteer
“Volunteering is a great way to give back,” said Cornett, who has
volunteered at the festival since the early 1990s. “And it is so much fun to volunteer at MerleFest
– you walk on campus and feel the excitement in the air. It’s a special homecoming, meeting new
friends and seeing old ones that you only see once a year at the festival. At the end of the day,
you feel like you have made a difference and been a part of something really
“MerleFest is recognized around the world as one of the best festivals ever.
But most of all, it is known for being family-friendly entertainment, something that always made Doc
Cornett joined the MerleFest Events Team on Aug. 1, when
volunteer coordinator Mona McRae decided to step down from that
“During my time working with MerleFest, I went from volunteer to
volunteer coordinator assistant to volunteer coordinator – and now back to volunteer!” McRae said.
“While I definitely look forward to being ‘re-retired,’ I plan to return to future festivals as a
volunteer. It will continue to be a homecoming for me.”
MerleFest, considered one
of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans
held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro.
founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of American music legend Doc Watson,
who died May 29. The festival is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music
based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and
old-time music and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other
The festival hosts more than 90 artists performing on 14 stages
during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the
WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational