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

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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.

Thursday: Open mic.
Friday: The Spinney Brothers, A Deeper Shade of Blue, Sideline, Wood Family, Renaissance Bluegrass Band (Bethel University).
Saturday: Joe Mullins, Balsam Range, The Spinney Brothers, Malpass Brothers, Renaissance Bluegrass Band (Bethel University).

Festival site: Big Lick Festival Park

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6 p.m.-until Thursday, 1 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Three-day pass: $50 before April 1, $73 afterward.
Thursday: $11, 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 (only): $20.

Camping on-site with limited hookups.

April 8 - 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 concerts each day. There's also a health and fitness expo at the Raleigh Convention Center Friday and Saturday. 2015 is its second year in Raleigh.

Friday: Gavin DeGraw, more TBA.

Festival site: Red Hat Amphitheater / Raleigh Convention Center

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8 p.m. Friday; Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday TBA.

Friday: $25; VIP (two drink tickets, dedicated cash bar, PIT general admission in front of stage, and separate VIP line/entry) $102.
Other 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 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 23    RockyFest - Hiddenite

RockyFest is mostly a day of climbing, rappelling and trail runs, but among the other festivities is a slate of live music performances and a picking tent. There will also be children's activities and food and arts and craft vendors. RockyFest is in its fourth year in 2016.

David Kerley with George Covetskie, Sugarloaf Ramblers, Cane Mill Road, The Neighbors, Strictly Strings, ShadowGrass, The YaYas.

Festival site: Rocky Face Mountain Recreation Area

Music 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; event starts at 8 a.m.

Free admission.

April 28 - 30    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.

Thursday: Jeff Scoggins and Colorado, Trinity River, Bluegrass Brothers, Deeper Shade of Blue.
Friday: Flatt Lonesome, Sideline, Becky Buller Band, Lorraine Jordan and Carolina Road, Commonwealth Bluegrass Band.
Saturday: Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Grass Cats, Darrell Webb Band, Junior Sisk and Ramblers Choice, Mickey Galyean and Cullen's Bridge.

Festival site: Willow Oak Park

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Music starts 2 p.m. Thursday, noon Friday and Saturday. Bands play afternoon and evening sets.

Three-day pass: $70 before April 10, $80 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 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, Brandi Carlile, Jerry Douglas, Scythian, The Kruger Brothers, Old Crow Medicine Show, Becky Buller, Donna the Buffalo, Alison Brown, Sam Bush, Jim Lauderdale, Peter Rowan, Tim O'Brien, Doug Seegers, 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: row 1-35 $235 through February 15, $245 after, $260 at gate; row 36-51 $210 through February 15, $220 after, $230 atgate.
Four-day general admission: $150 through February 15, $165 after, $180 at gate.
Friday-Sunday general admission: $135 through February 15, $145 after, $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.

April 29 - May 1    French Broad River Festival - Hot Springs

The festival focuses on the French Broad River, with a river cleanup, raft races and the French Broad River Festival Bike Race, in addition to the weekend of live music. There will also be local visual artists and other vendors, and a kids' village. Ticketed attendance is limited to 2,500. It is in its 19th year in 2016.

Pigeons Playing Pingpong, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Sol Driven Train, Snake Oil Medicine Show, Empire Strikes Brass, Cabinet, David Gans, Trongone Band, Sufi Brothers, Hank West and the Smoking Hots, The Josh Daniels/Mark Schimick Project, Love Canon, Alarm Clock Conspiracy, Screaming J's, Bobby Miller and the VA Daredevils, 3 Little Birds, The V-Tones, Mark Schimick and Friends, Station Underground.

Festival site: Hot Springs Resort & Spa Campground

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Three-day pass: $80.
Daily: Not listed.
"Whole Package" (weekend pass, campground parking and rafting): $160

Guided whitewater rafting: $45.

Campground parking: $40.

Primitive camping free with admission. Limited riverside and RV sites available by reservation online.

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