Carolina Music Festivals is a comprehensive calendar and guide to multi-act, daylong or multiple-day music festivals in North Carolina.

April 2016

Dates may be estimated based on last year's festival until confirmed by festival organizers.

April 7 - 9    Big Lick Bluegrass Festival - Oakboro

Like several other bluegrass festivals, most bands play afternoon and evening sets. Big Lick is in its 13th year in 2016.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Joe Mullins, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, The Spinney Brothers, four more.

Festival site: Big Lick Festival Park

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6 p.m.-until Thursday, 2 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Three-day pass: $50 before April 1, $73 afterward.
Thursday: $10, ages 12 to 16 $5, younger free.
Friday: $28, ages 12 to 16 $10, younger free.
Saturday: $33, ages 12 to 16 $10, younger free.
After 6 p.m. Saturday: $15.

Camping on-site with limited hookups.

April 8 - 9    BBQ Cook-Off & Bluegrass Jam - Asheville

It's mainly a barbecue competition, but live bluegrass and gospel - on Saturday - go down great with 'cue, and it's free. There are also a car show and kids' activities. The show is in its 10th year in 2015.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Buncombe Turnpike, Whitewater Bluegrass Co. and two more.

Festival site: Western North Carolina Farmers Market

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Noon to 8 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

April 9 - 10    Rock 'n' Roll Marathon - Raleigh

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon is a series of marathon and half-marathon foot races in cities across the country accompanied by alternative, classic and punk rock, blues, jazz and soul bands along the race course, plus a festival and concert at the finish line afterward. There's also a health and fitness expo at the Raleigh Convention Center Friday and Saturday. 2015 is its second year in Raleigh.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Smash Mouth, Honey and the 45s and two more at the concert, and 21 along the race course.

Festival site: Downtown Raleigh

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Race starts 7 a.m.; race course bands start from 7:05 to 8 a.m.; finish line show 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Events are free, except for fees to enter the marathon.

April 16    North Carolina 'Cuegrass Festival - Raleigh

The daylong show put on by The Pit restaurant in downtown Raleigh's Warehouse District presents bluegrass and roots music, barbecue and locally brewed beer. Proceeds benefit the Junior League of Raleigh's BackPack Buddies, which is a food program for school kids. Click on the photo for more information.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Town Mountain, Billy Strings and Don Julian, Four Founders, and three more.

Festival site: W. Davie Street

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Noon to 6 p.m.


April 21 - 23    Family Style Bluegrass Music Festival - Roxboro

Mike and Debbie Wilson, longtime partners with John Maness at the Bass Mountain Bluegrass Festival, carry on the tradition of family bluegrass shows at their own venue, and also present a May beach music festival.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Marty Rabon and Full Circle, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, and 11 more.

Festival site: Willow Oak Park

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Noon to 10 p.m., with a supper break from 5 to 6 p.m. Bands play afternoon and evening sets.

Three-day pass: $65 before April 6, $75 afterward.
Thursday: $25.
Friday: $30.
Saturday: $30.
Ages 13 to 16 $15 per day with parent; younger than 13 free with parent.

Camping: "Open field" camping free with three-day ticket, primitive camping $5 per night. Limited number of sites with electricity are $20 per day or $100 for entire week; $25 per day at gate.

April 22 - 23    White Oak Shores Bluegrass Festival - Stella

The campground-based show is on the coast at the edge of the Croatan National Forest. Camping is not required to attend. The campground has a small water park and playgrounds, and food and beverage vendors will be on hand during the festival. White Oak Shores added a September festival in 2015.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Hwy 58, Burrows Brothers, Spare Parts, and six more.

Festival site: White Oak Shores Camping & RV Resort

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Noon to 4:25 p.m. and 6:15 to 10:40 p.m. each day; each band plays afternoon and evening sets.

Two-day pass: $35.
Daily: $20.

Camping package: $170 for two nights and two tickets for each day; additional people $35 each for two days; extra nights $50.
"Dry" camping is free.

April 23    Triangle Beach Music Festival - Garner

The Triangle Beach Music Festival has been bringing top beach music acts to Garner each spring since 1999.

TBA. 2015 lineup was Band of Oz, Fantastic Shakers, Sleeping Booty, The Dickens.

Festival site: Bryan Farms

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Gates open 9:30 a.m., music starts at 10:30.

$25 in advance online, $35 at gate.

The festival accepts reservations (and fees) for pop-up tents.

April 23    Harmon Field Music Festival - Tryon

The fundraising event for Harmon Field presents local and regional artists. It began in 2014.

TBA. 2015 lineup included Honey and the Hot Rods, The Deadfields, Larry Hoskinson and four more.

Festival site: Harmon Field

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Noon to 9 p.m.

$5 advance, $7 at gate.

April 28 - May 1    MerleFest - Wilkesboro

MerleFest, one of the country's best music festivals, features Americana, bluegrass, country, rock and more by top acts, and old and new favorites on more than a dozen stages. Some bands play a single show but many artists play several shows throughout the weekend and sit in with other bands and performers. The festival honors the late Merle Watson and the Doc Watson family, and is a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College. Click on the photo for more information.

John Prine, Dave Rawlings Machine, The Wood Brothers, Steep Canyon Rangers, Jerry Douglas, Scythian, The Kruger Brothers, Becky Buller, Donna the Buffalo, Annie Moses Band, Ash Breeze, Jim Avett, Banknotes, The Barefoot Movement, Billy Strings and Don Julin, Roy Book Binder, Blue Mafia, Laura Boosinger, The Bros. Landreth, The Brothers Comatose, Mark Bumgarner, Carbon Leaf, Carol Rifkin with John Fowler and Jeanette Queen, Clyde's on Fire, The Commons, Commonwealth Bluegrass Band, The Contenders (Josh Day and Jay Nash), Kristy Cox, Sherman Lee Dillon, EmiSunshine, Fireside Collective, Foghorn Stringband, Grace and Tony, Britt Gully, Wayne Henderson, High Plains Jamboree, Bob Hill, Sierra Hull, In With The Old, Tom Feldmann, Fruteland Jackson, Jeff Little Trio, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, Jeni and Billy, Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, Kacy and Clayton, Karl Shifflett and Big Country Show, Jack Lawrence, Wanamaker Lewis, Lindsay Lou and The Flatbellys, Liz Frame and The Kickers, The Local Boys, Bonnie Logan, Lou Reid and Carolina, Love Canon, Bill Mathis, Andy May, David and Valerie Mayfield, Penny and Sparrow, Sarah Potenza, Salvador, Shinyribs, The Slocan Ramblers, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Steve and Ruth Smith, Joe Smothers, South Carolina Broadcasters, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, String Madness with Mitch Greenhill, Susie Glaze and the Hilonesome Band, Bryan Sutton; Sutton, Holt and Coleman; Tellico, The Buck Stops Here, Mark Tobolosky, Happy Traum, April Verch, Liz Vice, Seth Walker, The Waybacks, We Banjo 3, Charles Welch, Pete and Joan Wernick, Westwend, The Whiskey Gentry, Uncle Ted White, Shannon Whitworth, Will Overman Band, The Williams Brothers, Wood and Wire, Zoe & Cloyd, The InterACTive Theatre of Jef, more TBA.

Festival site: Wilkes Community College

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Gates open 2:30 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m. Friday-Sunday.

14 stages; some in tents, three indoors.

Four-Day Watson Stage reserved seat (2015 prices): row 1-35 $235 through March, $260 after; row 36-49 $210 through March 10, $235 after.
Four-day general admission: $150 through February 15, $165 through April 27, $180 at gate.
Friday-Sunday general admission: $135 through February 15, $145 through April 27, $155 at gate.
Daily: $40, $45, $50 Thursday; $55, $60, $65 Friday; $60, $65, $70 Saturday; $50, $55, $60 Sunday.
Midnight Jam (Saturday in Walker Auditorium) (2015 price): $40.
Gold Patron Packages ($2,200) and Platinum Patron Packages ($2,600) for groups of four are also available.

Several campgrounds are located nearby and are served by continuous bus shuttles.
On-campus RVs, four days: $450. On-campus tents, four days: $75.

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