It’s been a month since we ventured up to Wilkesboro, NC to be a part of one of the most exciting bluegrass festivals in the world, Merlefest. A wonderful music festival dedicated to the memory of legendary guitarist Doc Watson and his son Merle, Merlefest is known for bringing high caliber musicians and performers to the mountains of North Carolina year after year. Fireside Collective had the honor of being invited to Merlefest to compete in an invite only band competition featuring up and coming bands from around the country.
Early in the day Saturday, the band competition began as we anxiously awaited our turn to perform. After some great performances, the time came for us to take the stage and we performed 4 original songs for a crowd that continued to grow bigger. By the end, we felt pretty good, and apparentally the crowd was feeling good as well as they rose to their feet and gave our short little set a standing ovation. All we had to do now was wait...
After a few hours and some more amazing performances by the other bands in the competition, the time finally came to announce the winners. We sat there waiting to see who would be rushed over to the Watson stage for a 30 minute main stage performance. And then we heard it… "winners of the 2016 Merlefest band competition, Fireside Collective!!!" Shortly after the announcement, we were approached by the judges who told us it was a unanimous decision and congratulated us on our performance. Before it could really set in, we were rushed to the mainstage for a quick soundcheck and then a performance on the same stage so many great musicians have stood upon. After our set, we celebrated to the sounds of the Kruger Brothers, the Wood Brothers, Sam Bush Band, and the David Rawlings Machine, all of whom happen to be major influences on our music. We'd like to give a major shoutout to all of the Merlefest organizers and to all of our friends and fans who cheered us on and gave us encouragement!
We are now more excited than ever to share our busiest tour schedule to date with you all! We will begin our tour by traveling throughout the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia in June. In July, we will find ourselves once again traveling to the magical state of Colorado. After that, we will make our first trip to the Northeast with performances in Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey!
Here is a look at the first leg of our tour, for additional dates click on "tour" at the top of this page:
June 3rd - Nantahala Brewing Company in Bryson City, NC @ 8pm
June 4th - Yee-Haw Brewing in Johnson City, TN @ 8pm
June 8th - Mike Dianna's Grill Room in Corolla, NC @ 6pm w/Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds
June 9th - Roadside Bar & Grill in Duck, NC @ 8pm
June 10th - Beer Garden in Corolla, NC @ 7pm
June 11th - Trio Wine Bar in Kitty Hawk, NC @ 7:45pm
June 14th - Raleigh Times in Raleigh, NC @ 7:30
June 15th - Foothills Brewpub in Winston-Salem, NC @ 8pm
June 16th - Jack of the Wood in Asheville, NC @ 7pm
June 17th - Palmetto Brewery in Charleston, SC @ 6pm
June 18th - Morgan Creek Grill in Isle of Palms, SC @ 5pm
June 19th - Palmetto Dunes Resort in Hilton Head, SC @ 6pm
June 23rd - Smiley's Acoustic Cafe in Greenville, SC @ 6pm
June 24th - Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, NC @ 5
June 25th - Jessup Mill in Westfield, NC @ 6
June 29th - Ben's Tune Up in Asheville, NC @ 6
Keep an eye out for our brand new tour poster designed by Kyra Platt at Aulani Design Lab!
We are so thrilled to be traveling so much this summer and can't wait to see all of our friends near and far! Thanks again to everyone who has encouraged us along the way!