We look forward to attending this small two day festival for both the instrument and band contests, which are fairly run and hotly contested, and the fine bands that perform there. This indoor festival is always held on the fourth weekend in March.
We attended the Willow Oak Bluegrass Festival for a couple of years and then stopped going because it was out of control. Promoter Mike Wilson bought the park and has revived the festival, a traditional one usually on the same weekend as MerleFest. Set on a marvelous, isolated site, it's a lovely place to spend a weekend easily accessible from the Raleigh/Durham area as well as Greensboro and southern Virginia.
Houston Caldwell was a bright and talented young musician, firefighter, and soldier who was sadly killed in a motorcycle accident on his way home from competing in the Merlefest banjo contest. This festival was established in his home town of Galax, VA as a memorial to him and his values. This two day festival celebrates young musicians, highlights the future of bluegrass and old-time music, and presents top bands whose members were Houston's friends. It hits all the right notes.
The Roys got lucky on this morning, and lost their sound. They came out into the audience where they showed their pluck and their quality in the break-out performance.