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10 outstanding music festivals you haven't heard of yet

Merlefest

Photo: cp_thornton/Flickr

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Merlefest

Held on the last weekend in April, Merlefest is the best option on our list for people who think acoustic music still rules. Though Merlefest's focus is bluegrass and country, a number of big-name acts from other genres have made their way to Wilksboro, N.C., each spring to take part in this four-day, 14-stage event. Elvis Costello, Linda Ronstadt and the Doobie Brothers have had top billing along with the likes of Randy Travis, Emmylou Harris and Willie Nelson. Also, Merlefest is arguably one of the most family friendly events on our list. There is a youth showcase, as well as interactive music-themed areas for kids, and nature walks through the countryside surrounding the festival grounds.