I had some time to think on the drive home from a wonderful long weekend away- about why Merle Fest is so special to many of us - and also why we are so sad when the event is over.
For ye Bluegrass Neophytes- Merlefest is a music festival hosted the last weekend of April in the Brushy Mountains of North Wilkesboro, NC. Check the link above and you may find it peaks your interest- good music, beautiful surroundings and proceeds go to a good cause.... edu-ma-ka-shun!
Each year a group of friends reunites at the Moravian Falls Campground to attend the music festival. While the nidus of the group attended college together lo these many years ago, these folks have cast wide their net and welcomed many others into the fold. We hosted a few "MV's or Merle Virgins" this year and we hope they had fun and will return again! We camp, laugh, cook, laugh, relax, laugh, make music, laugh ..... well you get the point.
The entire process is EXHAUSTING yet so uplifting to the spirit.
The concept of a Gathering harkens back to the history of settlement of our mountains by the Scots and Irish. Many travelled here to the moutains escaping persecution and famine. "Gatherings" were a chance for far flung people who farmed this rough terrain to reconnect to the homeland. Highland Games and Scottish Clan Gatherings are still held in Grandfather Mountain and Tryon NC each year.
This year we had folks from CA, RI, OR, FL, PA, TX, NY and all over NC! New friendships were made and old ones rekindled. Merlefest provides great music and a chance to reconnect with each other away from TV and the many distractions of life. We may not come together under the aegis of the same tartan or country- but we join for a love of music.
I encourage you all to find your own Gathering- a place you can go to connect, recharge and have fun.
Stay tuned- no rest for the weary- next weekend we are hosting a Plant Swap on the farm!