Andy May’s Acoustic Kids™ Showcases

UPDATE: We’re very sorry to announce that we have canceled all Acoustic Kids Showcases scheduled for fall, 2021. This was not an easy decision. However, in light of the uncertainty surrounding the current COVID outbreak; out of concern for everyone’s health and well-being (including our own); and following our doctor’s emphatic advice, we see no viable alternative.
We will look for you at Walnut Valley Festival 2022!

Young musicians prove that, "The music's in good hands!"

Acoustic Kids Showcases:

A 30+ year Tradition at the Walnut Valley Festival!

The Walnut Valley Festival supports young musicians in its audience with the opportunity to perform on its festival stages in Andy May’s Acoustic Kids Showcases – and has every year since 1991! This non-competitive program is designed to provide a positive performance experience in a professional setting for young pickers and singers of all skill levels, beginner to pro.

Acoustic Kids:

  • Mentors young musicians
  • Recognizes achievement at all levels
  • Builds community
  • Is fun!

Young musicians through age 16 are welcome to take part in Acoustic Kids. Accompanists
may be any age, and bands are eligible as long as at least one featured performer is 16 years
of age or younger. Participation is free with festival admission, but preregistration is required.

"You never know who you'll see for the first time in Acoustic Kids!"

“Any has a remarkable ability to make kids feel welcomed and valued as a person and (a) musical contributor… I’m so glad Acoustic Kids has stayed involved in the community, because not only does it give all these kids good memories, but as the kids grow up they’ll remember that their contribution is important.” – Sara Watkins, multi-year participant with Nickel Creek in Walnut Valley Festival Acoustic Kids Showcases

As a show, Acoustic Kids Showcases are not for kids only: They are for music lovers of all ages. Come applaud the efforts of the next generation of musicians. You will be treated to an Opry-style stream of young entertainers who will warm your heart and take your breath away.  You never know who you’ll see for the first time in Acoustic Kids… but you’ll come away
knowing, “The music is in good hands!”

Andy May is an award-winning, life-long, professional musician and music educator. As a guitarist, mandolinist, and singer-songwriter, he has nearly 60 years of performance experience himself, and he knows what it takes to get on stage and entertain. As an educator, he understands the importance of gaining performance experience in a supportive environment.  He created Acoustic Kids in 1989 to give his own students that experience, and the program has been embraced for three decades by music festivals that want to support the next generation of musicians.

Pre-registration is required. Registrations will be available as long as there is room in the showcases.

  • Registration requires 1-3 demos
  • Participants must have a festival wristband.

Acoustic Kids Ambassadors

The Acoustic Kids Ambassadors is a spin-off of Acoustic Kids Showcases. The Ambassadors set gives young emerging artists a spotlight as they represent the Acoustic Kids program to a broader audience.

2021 Showcase Schedule:


  • Acoustic Kids Ambassadors – Stage 1, 4:30 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Acoustic Kids Showcases – Stage 2, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.


  • Acoustic Kids Showcases – Stage 2, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Acoustic Kids Alumni

Love Acoustic Kids?

  • We’d love to know! Leave us a testimonial!
  • Please help us get the word out! Send a link to this page to any eligible young musicians
    you know who may be interested in taking part in Acoustic Kids.
  • Follow Us on Facebook
  • Check out our YouTube playlists
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Office Hours


9am-Noon; 1pm to 5pm

Walnut Valley Festival