MerleFest 2023 Craft Vendor Application

Heritage Crafts Tent
The Heritage Crafts Tent offers some of the region's finest demonstrating artisans a place to sell their handmade goods as well as demonstrate and educate MerleFest fans about their craft. Please complete this application and submit by January 31, 2023 to be considered as a MerleFest Craft Vendor.

Approvals are granted by committee. Application will not be reviewed if we do not receive Merchandise item/pricing list.

Shoppes vendors must complete the Shoppes Vendor Application.

Renewing Heritage Craft vendors must complete the Craft Vendor Renewal Application.

Vendor Information

Merchandise Items/Pricing (Online Submission)

ONLINE SUBMISSIONS - Please upload a file listing all proposed selling items and proposed pricing. Please include either a photo of your product(s) or provide a link to a webpage where they can be viewed. Please include the demonstration of your craft. (Merchandise items, pricing and photos may also be submitted via U.S. Mail). Undisclosed merchandise MAY or MAY NOT be displayed at the discretion of the MerleFest Vendor Selection Committee.

Merchandise Items/Pricing (Submission Via U.S. Mail)

To submit merchandise item list/photos and pricing info via U.S. Mail, please compile documentation as stated above and return to the address below by January 31, 2023.

Mail to:
Telana Wiles
Events Vendor Coordinator
MerleFest/WCC Events
1328 South Collegiate Drive, Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Phone: 336-838-6220

Vendor selection will be made based on the following criteria:

All crafters must demonstrate their craft onsite throughout the day.
All crafters will display and sell handmade products.
Commercially produced merchandise and / or imports are not eligible for display or sale.
First preference will be given to crafters who are a current member of a crafting association.
Emphasis will be placed on creativity and quality of products.

Vendor Rules and Guidelines

Festival Information

Heritage Craft Vendor selection will be made based on the following criteria:

All crafters must demonstrate their craft onsite throughout the day.
All crafters will display and sell handmade products.
Commercially produced merchandise and / or imports are not eligible for display or sale.
First preference will be given to crafters who are a current member of a crafting association.
Emphasis will be placed on creativity and quality of products


No refunds will be provided.

Booth Fees

*Booth fee covers all four days of the festival and includes tent, table, chairs, sides, one light, guttering for double and triple booths, if required.

Booth Information:
10’x10’ Single Booth $400.00
Includes two, 4-day general admission wristbands and one (1) on campus parking pass.
10’x20’ Double Booth $800.00
Includes four, 4-day general admission wristbands and one (1) on campus parking pass.

Optional Fees
The following optional credentials must be purchased through the MerleFest box office by April 14th, 2023. Call the box office at 1-800-343-7857 to order by phone.
On-Campus Tent Camping $105.35(includes tax & fees)
Includes one (1) vendor tent camping laminate and one (1) on campus parking pass. Pop-up campers are permitted in place of a tent. *NO ELECTRIC HOOK-UPS AVAILABLE. One tent per laminate. On campus tent camping available Tuesday before the festival through Sunday. Tent camping laminates will be checked by festival staff.
On-Campus RV Camping $555.35(includes tax &fees)
Includes one (1) on-campus RV Lot Camping parking pass and one (1) vehicle on-campus parking pass.
RV Lot Camping available Tuesday through Sunday.
Additional Tickets
Single day general admission pass $80.25 (includes tax & fees)
Good for any day (LIMIT 4 PER BOOTH)
4-day general admission wristband $224.70 (includes tax & fees)


Each 10’x10’ space receives two (2) 4-Day general admission wristbands and must be worn by vendor(s) according to festival instruction. Vendors without proper credentials will not be allowed access on festival grounds. Vendor is allowed to exchange a 4-Day general admission wristband for four (4) single day general admission passes (good for any day).
One (1) on campus vehicle parking pass may be issued for each Crafts vendor and must be displayed according to the instruction in the credentials package or on the pass. Vehicles without the issued parking pass will not be allowed access on the festival grounds and those without a parking pass, or parked in the wrong location, may be removed at owner’s expense.


Vendor must have:

An attractive, professional, maintained booth appearance. A professional looking sign. Quality merchandise, and courteous, friendly, music-loving personnel.

Tents will be provided and installed by MerleFest. Vendor is responsible for constructing, furnishing, maintaining and removing your own booth materials, leftovers and trash. Any damage to the tent during the festival will be the responsibility of the vendor. No tarps or personal sides may be used. Tents are not to be moved or altered by vendors. Vendor assignments are final. No changes or substitutions may be made on-site. Vendors are only to use the space rented. Extending beyond the boundaries of the rented space could result in additional fees and/or expulsion from the festival. All business or other activity, for which the vendors have rented space, must be conducted within the designated booth space only. No distribution, canvassing, flyers, nor vending of any kind may be done by strolling through the festival grounds.


MerleFest may provide each 10’x10’ booth with a light. These circuits cannot be modified and no additional connections can be made to any circuit. Additional electricity in this area is very limited and must be approved in advance. It is MerleFest policy that propane lanterns and any open-flame apparatus will not be allowed. Battery powered lanterns will be permitted. *No generators or internal combustion engines will be allowed in The Shoppes at MerleFest per fire code regulations without approval from Festival Management*


Vendor check-in for all booths will begin on festival week Wednesday AFTER 3:00 pm. Vendors MUST check-in upon arrival to receive booth location information as well as passes and parking credentials. MerleFest staff will be available on site until 7:00 pm to show you to your tent location. Vendors will be allowed to drive up to the Shoppes area and begin unloading / setting up without interference from public traffic. There is no time limit in setting up on Wednesday evening, however, set up MUST BE COMPLETE by festival Thursday prior to 1:00 pm. All vehicles must be removed from the Shoppes by 1:00PM. Gates will open at 1:30 pm.
*There is no security on site for festival Wednesday – any inventory stored in your tent will be at your own risk.*


All vendor spaces must have a professional looking sign. Signs must not exceed 3 feet by 8 feet and may include only the vendor name or logo and no other brand names or logos. MerleFest retains the right to remove any inappropriate signage. If you have questions about your signage, please contact the Shoppes Coordinator prior to the festival.


The Heritage Crafts Tent at MerleFest hours of operation are:

Thursday 1:30pm – 9:00pm (festival hours – 1:30pm – 10:30pm)
Friday 9:30am – 9:00pm (festival hours – 9:30am – 10:30pm)
Saturday 9:30am – 9:00pm (festival hours – 9:30am – 10:30pm)
Sunday 9:30am – 5:30pm (festival hours – 9:30am – 5:30pm)

Vendor is required to be open to the general public for the duration of the entire festival. Closing to the public before the end of the event or not opening on time to the general public is grounds for exclusion from participating at future events. Performances typically will continue until 10:30 pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; any vendor wishing to remain open may do so.
Vendor closing and demolition will not begin until 5:30 pm on Sunday. Vehicles will not be allowed into the Shoppes area until 6:30pm to allow for crowd dispersion. Early close and demolition will not be allowed.


  • No glass containers, breakable plastic, alcohol, tobacco products, illegal drugs or firearms are allowed on the festival grounds, including camping areas. If you market products that are made of glass or other breakable materials, you will be required to supply and use packing materials such as boxes or bubble wrap as the product is sold to ensure safe transport throughout the festival.
  • You may sell only those items listed on your application form and previously approved by the MerleFest Vendor Selection Committee. You may not sell any additional items without the express consent of the Vendor Coordinator. MerleFest reserves the right to perform vendor merchandise audits throughout and request removal of nonconforming items.
  • No food or beverage products of any kind are to be sold by vendors unless previously authorized by the Vendor Coordinator.
  • Vendors may not sell musical CDs, DVDs or musical instructional materials of any kind. Only designated sponsors may sell musical instruments and accessories.
  • No illicit products may be displayed in any form. This includes, but is not limited to any product that represents or implies drug use, drug paraphernalia, pornography, criminal activity, or violence.
  • The ‘MerleFest’ name and logo are registered trademarks. Therefore, no product or service bearing the MerleFest name or logo, or the name and logo of any of its sponsors, may be sold or marketed in any manner without prior written consent from the festival or the sponsor. Questions regarding this should be directed to the Vendor Coordinator at 336-838-6220.
  • MerleFest may, at its discretion, remove any vendor, merchandise, or display that does not conform to MerleFest rules.

Vendor inventory replenishment will take place between the hours of 11:00 pm – 12:00 am as well as the hours of 8:00 am – 9:00 am. Inventory replenishment vehicles will be allowed in the Shoppes area during these hours only. Festival security will remove, at owner’s expense, vehicles in The Shoppes at MerleFest anytime outside these stated hours.


This event takes place rain or shine. Vendors should be prepared for inclement weather.


All vendors must comply with fire codes and instructions from the Fire Marshall. Failure to do so may result in expulsion from the festival. North Carolina State Fire Codes also state that if an open flame or other device emitting flame or fire is used, an appropriate fire extinguisher must be on hand. Fire extinguishers must have a current inspection date within one year. A representative will check all fire extinguishers to see that they meet NC fire code requirements. The vendor will also be required to present a certificate executed by an acceptable testing laboratory, certifying that any decorative materials meet the requirements for flame resistance as determined in accordance with both the small scale and large scale tests in NFPA 701, and that such flame resistance is effective for the period specified by the permit.
Vendors who have a vendor space located next to a fire break must keep the area clear. The Fire Marshall and festival staff will be inspecting these areas.
Vendors will be responsible for the security of their vendor spaces. Wilkes Community College Foundation assumes no responsibility for items lost or stolen from the vending areas.


The collecting - and reporting - of this tax is the responsibility of all vendors who engage in retail sales. An application fee for North Carolina Sales Tax license is no longer required, but you must obtain an NC Sales Tax Number . If you need to acquire a NC Sales Tax Number, contact the NC Department of Revenue at, application form AS/RP1 or call 1-877-252-3052.


MerleFest is held rain or shine. We recommend bringing clothes for all seasons!
For your safety and the consideration of all guests and our campus, the following are restricted from MerleFest:

  • All tobacco products
  • All electronic oral devices (e-cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, etc.)
  • Alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs
  • Weapons
  • Pets
  • Unauthorized ATVs, golf carts, Segways® (or similar vehicles) on campus and campgrounds
  • Glass containers
  • Tents or canopies (small infant dome tents are allowed provided they do not obstruct the view of others)
  • Folding chairs that block the view for other fans (Canopy chairs will not be allowed)
  • Beach or Patio Umbrellas (small personal umbrellas will be allowed as long as they do not obstruct view of others)
  • Unauthorized video recording, audio recording or flash photography (at the artists' request)
  • Drones
  • Personal grills, charcoal or gas are not allowed on festival grounds at any time (Only approved food vendors are allowed to operate grills)

No one is permitted backstage without proper credentials (wristband).

Additional Information/Important Dates:
Applications Due: January 31, 2023
Merchandise Items and applications approved: February 15, 2023
Vendor Fees due March 15, 2023
Proof of insurance due: March 15, 2023


  • Acceptance notifications will be emailed/mailed mid-February.
  • Vendor fees will be due no later than March 15, 2023.
  • Certified Money Orders, checks and online credit card payments are accepted.
  • All returned checks will be an automatic disqualification of acceptance.
  • Proof of Insurance is required.
  • No vendor will be allowed to set up on festival grounds unless full payment has been received.
  • It is understood that any policies, procedures or instructions that have been sent to vendors of the festival at any time are considered a part of the agreement.


MerleFest Vendor Coordinator
Telana Wiles
PO Box 120
Wilkesboro, NC 28697
Office – 336-838-6220
Email –
Website –


All vendors must carry a one million dollar liability insurance policy, listing Wilkes Community College Foundation as additionally insured. Proof of insurance is required.

The organization hereby agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Wilkes Community College Foundation, Foundation employees, MerleFest, Wilkes Community College, and assignees against any and all claims, damages, liabilities (including, but not limited to, liability for personal injury, property loss, and liability for breach of confidentiality), costs and expenses, including, without limitation, reasonable legal fees and costs arising out of any event sponsored by or associated with the festival, or resulting from any third party action of any kind, or incurred for by reason of breach of signee of any of the obligations, warranties, agreements, covenants or representations herein contained.

Signee represents and warrants that it shall take all reasonable precautions to assure accuracy of, and to protect, against negligent disclosure of and unauthorized access to all MerleFest internal and administrative information. Festival schedules of all activities, explicit and implicit, express and implied, are at the discretion of MerleFest and therefore subject to change.

Force Majeure
The festival shall not be held responsible for events beyond the festival's control, such as, without limitation, acts of God, acts of war, terrorism, strikes, or governmental restrictions, or for acts of omissions of persons, entities or companies not controlled by it, such as, without limitations, police officials and government entities. All activities described or referred to herein are deemed to be for the festival, unless otherwise noted.

Discrimination against any employee or customer because of race, religion, color, ethnicity, physical disability or sexual orientation will result in immediate expulsion from the festival.
Failure to comply with the Vendor Rules and Guidelines and/or instruction of MerleFest staff may also result in expulsion from the festival.

By submitting this application, valid for the current year only, applicant understands, accepts and agrees to abide by the Heritage Crafts Rules and Guidelines if invited to participate. We reserve the right to accept or reject any vendor. By submitting this form, applicant is responsible for any assisting employees.

This agreement is between vendor stated above and Wilkes Community College Foundation. MerleFest Mission Statement: MerleFest was founded in 1988 in Memory of Eddy Merle Watson as a fundraiser for Wilkes Community College and to celebrate traditional plus music.

About the Event

MerleFest 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 styles.

Learn More

Contact Us

Phone (U.S.): (800) 343-7857
Phone (Outside U.S.): (336) 838-6267

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