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MerleFest 2017 brings Avett Brothers home

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WILKESBORO, N.C. -- It's the 30th anniversary of MerleFest -- the festival of "traditional plus" music as described by Doc Watson, the festival's founder.

This year, more than 75,000 people are expected to come to Wilkesboro to listen to folk, bluegrass, Americana and roots music.

"There's just a wonderful bunch of people we have in common we all love this kind of music, it's just a great atmosphere," said Max Morgan, who has come to the festival for 11 years from Oak Ridge.

The big guest that has everyone talking is The Avett Brothers, originally from North Carolina and playing a two hour slot Thursday night.

"I was like, 'Oh my gosh they're coming back,' I was really excited. For them to come here there's never anything happening here so it's like a really big deal to us," said Savanna Rush, who lives in Wilkesboro.

The Avett Brothers will play a special set of all Doc Watson music Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. on the Hillside Stage.

For more information on MerleFest, visit