Merlefest 2018 | Music. Moments. Memories | Wilkesboro, NC
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Merlefest 2018 – Music. Moments. Memories

merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas

Growing up in the foothills of the North Carolina mountains, is something I cherish.  The colors, the air, the friendliness.  One of the perks I experienced was being a part of a music festival as a kid, not knowing how large it would grow.  Merlefest started out as a small concert that was placed on a flat bed trailer.  They pull it out into the middle of a field with a portable sound system.  Now it has grown to one of the largest music festivals in the country, bringing $10 million dollars of revenue to Wilkes County over the course of 4 days.  75,000 people attend this annual event, and it all takes place in my hometown.

The area that is now dubbed WilCo, NC is in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.  The festival takes over the campus of Wilkes Community College for a week.  As a young teenager I volunteered for the festival.  I helped setup the stage, drive artist's around on golf carts, and check coolers at the front gate.  My last Merlefest (which was actually called Merle Watson Festival) was in 1998.  This year, I decided it was time for a homecoming.

Ive been living in the Florida Keys for 7 years and working as a South Florida wedding photographer.  I photograph boutique weddings all over South Florida.  I have always wanted to photograph a music festival.  Take my photojournalism to a different medium.  Its an event, something I spend a great deal of time very often.  Its also an excuse to head home, so why not!  I called up and bothered the crap out of Bethany Swaim, who runs the marketing of the festival.  Please, Please, Please let me come home and shoot the festival! My wish came true! Thanks again!

So I went home, camped out, got soaked, and didn't complain one bit!  I got to work with an awesome photography team, had some of the most epic late night editing sessions, and created friendships that will last a lifetime.  A group of creatives, working their asses off, but having fun the entire time! All in my hometown!

Thursday night it poured.  We all got wet! Did we care? No! Kevin Russell of Shinyribs, got everyone up! I had never really listened to his music until that night, but now its on my Spotify playlist.  Next up Robert Earl Keen.  Thats all I have to say about this guy! Three words that speak music.

merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas

Friday it warmed up.  My girlfriend joined me for the remainder of the weekend.  70's during the day, and 40's at night.  I put my gear ratings to the test.  Living out of my fathers truck, in a campground, and in the mud.  I walked close to 30 miles over 4 days.  I ran into friends I haven't seen since graduation, I got to see their new families, and laugh about old times. I discovered new artists with my assigned shoots like Rosie and The Riveters, We Banjo 3 and The East Pointers. Mandolin Orange and Jamey Johnson headlined the night.

I wont bore you with more text.  I start writing sometimes and then get to the point where Id rather add images than text.  Merlefest is a weekend that anyone can enjoy.  Pitch a tent, pick an instrument, and relax.

merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas
merelfest 2018 south florida photographer michael freas

One thought on “Merlefest 2018 – Music. Moments. Memories”

  1. By far one of the best photographers on my team. Thank you from my humble heart for working your tail off and getting some of the best images of MerleFest that I’ve ever seen! Top Notch my friend!

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