Acoustic Kids™ will be back for Walnut Valley Festival in 2023! Check the schedule for two chances to catch this unique showcase,featuring the talents of young pickers. We look forward to seeing you there!
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.
- Mentors young musicians
- Recognizes achievement at all levels
- Builds community
- Is fun!
Young musicians through age 18 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 18 years of age or younger. Participation is free with festival admission, but preregistration is required. Normally, the age limit is 16, but we have adjusted it this year since we had to skip a couple of years.
"You never know who you'll see for the first time in Acoustic Kids!"
“Andy 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.
2023 Showcase Schedule:
Friday: Acoustic Kids Showcases – Stage 2, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Saturday: Acoustic Kids Showcases – Stage 2, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Acoustic Kids Ambassadors – TBA
Acoustic Kids Alumni
- Join the Acoustic Kids Alumni Roster
- Contact us to find out about guesting in upcoming Acoustic Kids Showcases.