MerleFest 2007 to Feature Instrument Contests

Wilkesboro (North Carolina), USA – MerleFest 2007 Presented by Lowe’s will feature three outstanding instrument contests during the first two days of the April 26 – 29 event. Any MerleFest 2007 ticket holder except for past champions and artists performing at MerleFest may enter these competitions for guitar, mandolin, and banjo. For each contest, twenty registrants will be randomly selected from all those who register on time. The twenty so chosen for each contest will join the second and third place finishers from last year in the competition. Only the actual contestants may wait in line, no substitutes or placeholders.

Merle Fest will again present a major league guitar summit, the sixteenth Doc
Watson Guitar Championship
. This high profile contest for acoustic, flatpick
guitarists will happen on Friday afternoon, April 27, from 3:00 until 5:45 PM at
The Alumni Hall Lounge on the Wilkes Community College campus.

takes place in the Alumni Hall lobby between 1:30 and 2:30 PM on Friday. The
winners of the Doc Watson Guitar Championship will receive prizes of the very
highest order.

Cash prizes are sponsored In Memory of Bruce G. Sanders, late of
Greensboro, NC. Gallagher Guitar of Wartrace, Tennessee built Doc’s personal
guitar and Don Gallagher continues the family tradition, so it’s no surprise
that the champion will receive a Gallagher. From San Diego, California, Taylor
Guitars, have earned a sterling reputation in the hands of such practitioners as
Dan Crary and our second place winner. Third place receives a Deluxe Calton
Guitar Case, courtesy of Lonesome Pine Studios from Deep Gap, NC. The champion
will perform on the Cabin Stage on Saturday. Previous champions include Kenny

Registration: for the thirteenth annual Merle Watson Bluegrass Banjo
takes place in the Alumni Hall Lobby at Wilkes Community College
between 8:30 and 9:30 AM on Friday, April 27. The competition begins at 10:00

In keeping with Merle Watson’s identification with the 5-string banjo and
North Carolina’s fame for having spawned the bluegrass three-finger style, this
event has become one of the nation’s foremost banjo contests.

Offered as top
prizes are a Gibson Earl Scruggs Standard Model Banjo or Deering Calico banjo.
First place winners will also perform on the Cabin Stage before the festival
audience on Saturday. First place receives a choice of one of the two prize
banjos and a check for $300.

Second place earns the remaining banjo and a check
for $200. Third place receives a check for $50 and a Deluxe Calton Guitar Case,
courtesy of Lonesome Pine Studio from Deep Gap, NC. Cash prizes are sponsored by
Waverly Tuning Machines, a division of Stewart-MacDonald. Previous champions
include Cody Kilby.

MerleFest presents the eleventh annual Merlefest Mandolin Contest from 3:00
until 5:45 PM on Thursday, April 26, at The Alumni Hall Lounge on the Wilkes
Community College campus. Registration: takes place in the Alumni Hall lobby
between 3:00 and 4:00 PM on Thursday.

The Grand Prize includes $300, a Gibson
F-5G Mandolin, awarded by Gibson USA, and a performance on the Cabin Stage.
Second-place prize includes $200 and a Gibson F-9 Mandolin; third prize – $50
and a Calton Mandolin Case, courtesy of Lonesome Pine Studio from Deep Gap, NC.
Both mandolins carry a lifetime warranty. D’Addario Strings sponsors the cash
prizes. Previous champions include the acclaimed Johnny Staats and Ashby Frank.

Ticket for MerleFest 2007, the Americana Music Celebration Presented by Lowe’s,
are on sale now. Those with Internet access may acquire their tickets easily by
visiting and, if purchasing assigned seats at the Watson
Stage, actually pick their seat location on line. Those without Internet access
may purchase tickets by calling 1-800-343-7857 (US only) or 336-838-6267
(non-US) weekdays. Tickets may also be ordered by fax (336-838-6263) and mail
(MerleFest; P.O. Box 120; Wilkesboro, NC 28697).