Your favorite MerleFest artists..brought to you by Lindsay Craven.
Every year, multiple artists are contacted to play a show during the 4 days in April that is MerleFest. They must navigate process of scheduling, booking, and logistics. Fortunately, they have an ally. A veteran of MerleFest.
Enter Lindsay Craven, A dedicated entertainment professional with 11 years in Artist Relations under her belt. She’s helped numerous artists navigate the hectic landscape of MerleFest, but she’ll tell you that working with James Taylor was one of the more memorable ones.
ONCE AN INTERN..BUT NOT FOR LONG
Lindsay got her start early in her college career as an intern. “My internship was for marketing originally and then I worked the spring leading up to the festival in 2007. And then during the festival I ended up in artist relations.” She would eventually take on other impressive roles outside of the festival.
Yadkin Cultural Arts Center was a place Lindsay would frequent in the coming years. She would work as an administrative assistant for a year, then take on the role as House & Theatre manager for Willingham Theatre, the residential theatre of the arts center. Through all of this, she was still working hard at MerleFest every year, proving her commitment to this great festival. Soon, bigger things would come, as she would be promoted to Assistant Director for Yadkin Arts Council, then Executive Director of Yadkin Arts Council. An impressive couple years for Lindsay. After working MerleFest for over 10 years, she would take on her current role as MerleFest Artist Relations Manager. When asked if all of her previous roles prepared her for the new role at MerleFest she said “ I wore a lot of hats while I was there. So I think it helped in being prepared to juggle all the things that go along with artist relations”
IT PUTS US ON THE MAP
Just like festival director Ted Hagaman, Lindsay has been around MerleFest for over a decade. She has seen the changes and impact the festival has had on Wilkesboro. “It really put us on the map”. Ted and Lindsay knows the impact of MerleFest to the surrounding community. Part 1 of Makers of MerleFest described this impact in greater detail.
RAIN OR SHINE
With over 10 years of experience working in MerleFest, Lindsay Craven does have some cherished moments. Working with James Taylor was a special time in 2017. But it was the performance of The Avett Brothers in 2013. It had been raining all day that Sunday, and turnout for the Avett Brothers performance was looking bleak. Looking out over the Watson stage, the crowd hadn’t left. Lindsay remembers the energy of the crowd saying “the energy of that crowd was amazing. the audience loved it”. Crowds are attentive at MerleFest, rain or shine.
Lindsay Craven, along with Ted Hagaman, are just two of the many Makers of Merlefest. Their love for the festival is enduring, the passion they have for the people is infectious, and the desire to put on the best possible festival is paramount. There are many more people working behind the scenes, people that share the same passion that Ted and Lindsay share. If I could write articles about all of them I would. Such a special group of people sharing a common goal:
To continue the legacy and traditions of MerleFest for those four days in April.