50th Walnut Valley Festival

September 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 2022

National Flat-Picking Championships
Winfield, KS

September 14-18, 2022

National Flat-Picking Championships
Winfield, KS

49th Annual Walnut Valley Festival Instrument Championships

September 20, 2021

  1. International Autoharp Championship
    Champion: Ken Shoemaker; Overland Park, Kansas
    2nd Place: Steve Luper; Andover, KS
    3rd Place: Michael Poole; Chapel Hill, NC
  2. International Finger Style Guitar Championship
    Champion: Jesse Smith; Wadsworth, Ohio
    2nd Place: Adam Cantor Houston, TX
    3rd Place: Tomofumi Shimoda Tachikawa, Japan
  3. National Mountain Dulcimer Championship
    Champion: Jeff Hames; Madison, MS
    2nd Place: David Wilson; Springfield, MO
    3rd Place: Irma Reeder; Albuquerque, NM
  4. National Mandolin Championship
    Champion: Thomas Cassell; Nashville, TN
    2nd Place: Holton Doucette; Waller, TX
    3rd Place: Elijah Moore; Kernersville, NC
  1. Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championship
    Champion: Tristan Clarridge; Mt. Shasta, CA
    2nd Place: Tashina Clarridge: Mt. Shasta, CA
    3rd Place: Hannah Farnum: Galena, MO
  2. National Flat Pick Guitar Championship
    Champion: Jason Shaw: Lincoln, NE
    2nd Place: Paul Sgroi: Old Hickory, TN
    3rd Place: Holten Doucette: Waller, TX
  3. National Hammer Dulcimer Championship
    Champion: Benjamin Barker: Wilkesboro, NC
    2nd Place: Ben Haguewood: Mineral Point, MO
    3rd Place: Wenying Wu: Elk Grove, CA
  4. National Bluegrass Banjo Championship
    Champion: Gary Davis: Knoxville, TN
    2nd Place: Jason Bales: Gatlinburg, TN
    3rd Place: Gregg Welty: Durham, NC

WVA Announces Winners and Alternates for 2021 NewSong Showcase

August 27, 2021
Organizers of the 49th Walnut Valley Festival have announced the winners and alternates of the 2021 NewSong Showcase. The NewSong Showcase gives aspiring songwriters a chance to submit their work for review by a professional songwriter/artist, and features ten categories, including Songs about Winfield, Children, Religion/Spirit, Feelin’ Blue, Instrumental, Sweet Memories, Love Songs, Better World, Humor and None of the Above. The writers of the top songs in each category are given the opportunity to play their song onstage at the Walnut Valley Festival.

Chris Jones, writer, broadcaster, and front man for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers, serves as curator for the Showcase, coordinating with a team of reviewers in making the difficult call as to who gets top honors. Reviewers also provide feedback for the authors of all songs submitted, although that response takes a bit of time to get out to all the songwriters.

Chris Jones: “We had more entries this year than last, and the quality of submissions was exceptional. I love the process of discovering new songs, so I really appreciate the Walnut Valley Festival entrusting me with this job. I’m also grateful to the outstanding judges who lent their ears and their hearts to the often-difficult task of determining winners, and who have compiled some really valuable feedback to get out to all the writers. I’m especially thankful to the songwriters who open themselves up every year and let us hear their work and their art.”

Songs about Winfield:

Winners:
“Winfield Songs and Dreams” – Greg Johns        Thursday
“This Winfield Thing” – David Parker                                   Saturday

Alternates:
“Dirt Road” – Deann Kinsch                                                   Thursday
“Hey Water” – Terry Rayburn                                                    Saturday

Songs For a Better World:

Winners:
“New Song” – Elexa Dawson                                                 Thursday
“That Brick House North of Colfax” – Michael Shainline,    Saturday

Alternates:
“Feedback Loop” – Anne Wright                                           Thursday
“The BBQ vs the Kale Salad” – Noah Musser                       Saturday

Sweet Memories:

Winners:
“Polaroid Memories” – Jim McCarter                                     Thursday
“They Don’t Make ’em Like That Anymore” – Joe Worrel    Saturday

Alternates:
“Mama’s Tough Love” – Eric Smith                                       Thursday
“Somebody Played Wildwood Flower” – Don Richmond     Saturday

Religion/Spirit:

Winners:
“Open My Eyes” – Jody Nelson                                             Thursday
“The Old Fiddler’s Christmas” – Fred Baue                           Saturday

Alternates:
 “Healing Horizon” – Annie Wilson                                       Thursday
 “Live Your Life” – Robert Tims                                            Saturday

 Suitable For Children:

Winners:
“Runaway Nell” – Annie Wilson                                            Thursday
“Poppin’ Corn” – Mark Heinrich                                            Saturday

Alternates:
“Purple Bird” – Ron Fent                                                         Thursday
“Juniper Tuesday” – Brian Henke                                          Saturday

Humorous Songs:

Winners:
“Knock Knock” –  Lori Beth Wisian-Brooke                        Thursday
“Overalls” – Karyn Schafer and Sally Vee                             Saturday

Alternates:
“Crocodile Dreams” – Mark L. Heinrich                                Thursday
“Bluegrass, Maximilian and Me” – David Parker                  Saturday

 Instrumental:

Winners:
“The Squirrel and the Bluejay” – Rob Loren                        Thursday
“Sugar Bottom Rag” – Gary Mortensen                                 Saturday

Alternates:
“Matching Socks” – Lauralyn Bodle                                      Thursday
“Last of the Cyclopes” – Noah Musser                                  Saturday

Love Songs:

Winners:
“The Orchard” – John Depew                                                Thursday
“Glad We Came” – Elexa Dawson                                         Saturday

Alternates:
“Our Forever’s a Little Bit Late” – Annie Wilson             Thursday
“Ode to Odette” – R Gene Collier                                          Saturday

Feelin’ Blue:

Winners:
“I’ve Lost You” – Joe Worrell                                                Thursday        
“Under Your Moon” – Tim Fast                                             Saturday

Alternates:
“Missed Too Many Moons” – Annie Wilson                         Thursday
“Gone” – Jim Campbell                                                          Saturday

None of the Above:

Final Winners:
“Mister Would You Help Me” – Don Richmond                   Thursday
“Redemption” – Derrick Mears                                              Saturday

Alternates:
“Midnight Train” – Kevin Corbett                                          Thursday
“Water into Wine” – Joe Worrell                                            Saturday

Walnut Valley Festival Releases Safety Protocols

August 26, 2021

Organizers of the 49th Walnut Valley Festival have released an update on safety protocols related to COVID that will be enforced on grounds during the event. Festival officials had earlier announced a number of measures designed to provide for a safe hybrid event, including a pre-festival vaccination campaign, special wristbands for those on grounds who have elected to get vaccinated, and a streaming video option for those who would rather not be on grounds at all.

Executive Director Bart Redford: “We hope that prospective attendees will take advantage of the wide range of incentives on offer, and vax up in anticipation of coming to Winfield. We hope to have many participants in our Pre-Lineup on August 28 take advantage of the opportunity to receive a vaccination then. I want to thank, in particular, John McCutcheon and the other artists who produced a special video encouraging our fans to get vaccinated. And finally, I would like to point out that we reserve the right to alter these protocols based on local public health guidance. In particular, if incentives to vaccinate do not have the desired effect, we may yet re-examine the question of requiring vaccination or negative tests for entry.”

Wednesday Workshops, September 15 – These workshops are held off grounds and inside, and so all participants will be expected to wear masks. This applies to new workshops for kids as well. 

Masks – Disposable masks will be made available to workers and the general public at various locations on grounds. Masks will be required of all staff and workers interacting with the public. Masks will also be required for everyone upon entry to buildings, including the interior areas where craft and luthier booths are located, as well as the contest stage (Stage IV), located in Barn 4. Masks will be required for anyone riding a shuttle, or making use of festi-cab or other transport. We strongly encourage people to wear masks in areas of high crowd density, and certainly wear a mask if you have not been vaccinated.

Indoor Traffic – Pedestrians in buildings will be directed to utilize one-way traffic flow, and air movement will likewise be generated using fans in order to minimize possibility of transmission.

Personal Hygiene – Additional hand washing and sanitizing stations will be available on grounds. Cowley County Emergency Services will provide small containers of hand sanitizer for festival-goers’ use.

Testing – City / County Public Health will be on hand every morning, 9-10am, to provide testing and other support. They can be found at the Emergency Services Trailer just outside of the South Interior Gate. In addition, they will offer free vaccinations to all workers and festival attendees prior to festival.

T-Shirts – This year’s selection of Walnut Valley Festival shirts are already available online for sale. Shirts will not be sold on grounds this year. Walnut Valley Mercantile will have shirt samples available to aid in selection, but shirts must be ordered online and will be sent by post direct to the purchaser. T-shirt crew will notify you if you ordered a t-shirt earlier and expected to pick up your order at festival. T-shirt online sales will run until midnight, Wednesday, September 22, and then will be closed so that t-shirt crew can concentrate on fulfilling all orders.   

Acoustic Kids Showcases – These events have been cancelled

Feisty Music Camp — Camp activities take place in a large, well-ventilated tent. Most activities take place with families seated on blankets on the ground. Blankets will be spaced for social distancing, and you can bring your own blanket if you prefer.

Masks, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes will be available on site. All camp staff will be wearing masks, unless performing, and participants are encouraged to wear masks. Instrument-making activities have been modified, through use of to-go baggies, to reduce likelihood of transmission.  

School Visits – This year we will not facilitate visits from local schools, as we have in the past.

One more on-site COVID vaccination clinic will be offered on Saturday, August 28, 10am-2pm, at the Winfield Fairgrounds, Barn 4 (during festival Pre-Lineup). Organizers will draw winners from those receiving the vaccine, and provide festival-related prizes including festival chairs, commemorative mugs, WVF yard signs, and other merchandise. The vaccine is free, attendees need not be a resident of Cowley County to take part, but are asked to bring a valid ID, and an insurance card.

In addition, a Vaccine Raffle will be held, open to anyone who has taken one of the COVID vaccines, whatever their location, by the end of August. Paper forms are available at the vaccine clinic and at the festival office at 918 Main St. in Winfield. An online form can be completed on the festival website, at  https://www.wvfest.com/ipicklivemusic/. Deadline for entry is August 31, and drawing will be held September 1. Winners will be notified immediately after the drawing, and prizes can be picked up at the Information Booth during the week of festival. Winners must present ID and valid vaccine certificate to claim prize. For those opting not to attend the festival in person, alternate arrangements will be made.

Walnut Valley Festival Prepares for Hybrid Event, Launches Vaccination Campaign

Aug 3, 2021 – Winfield, KS

Organizers of the 49th Walnut Valley Festival have announced a number of measures designed to provide for a safe hybrid festival this September. After a vaccination campaign in August, the festival will provide for those who wish to attend in person, but also provide live streaming for those who would rather not venture onto grounds. Vaccinated festival-goers will also be able to get a special “I Pick Live Music” wristband and memorial pick at the Information Booth once on grounds.

Executive Director Bart Redford: “We intend to award festival-related merchandise to winning participants in two COVID vaccine clinics to be held in the month of August, and will also offer larger prizes as a gesture of gratitude to lucky winners among those who have already been vaccinated or who receive vaccinations in August.”

“We are grateful to the organizations who have been conducting vaccine campaigns in the area, including the campaign tied to the Cowley County Fair. Like our campaign, these have been supported by the Kansas Leadership Center’s Kansas Beats the Virus program. Ours will be a targeted campaign to raise the percentage of folks vaccinated in the area as well as among those coming to Winfield from other communities. We also want to thank Tom Langer and his staff at the City/County Health Department for their tireless efforts to increase the number of vaccinated in the area.”

On-site COVID vaccination clinics will be offered on the following dates:

  • Saturday, August 21, 9am-Noon, at Bob’s Place, 920 Main St, Winfield, KS
  • Saturday, August 28, 10am-2pm, at the Winfield Fairgrounds, Barn 4 (during festival Pre-Lineup)

On both occasions, organizers will draw winners from those receiving the vaccine, and provide festival-related merch including festival chairs, commemorative mugs, WVF yard signs, and other goodies. The vaccine is free, you need not be a resident of Cowley County to take part, but you must bring a valid ID, and your insurance card (if you have one).

In addition, a Vaccine Raffle will be held, open to anyone who has taken one of the COVID vaccines, whatever their location, by the end of August. Paper forms will be available at the vaccine clinics and at the festival office at 918 Main St. in Winfield. An online form can be completed on the festival website, at https://www.wvfest.com/ipicklivemusic/.

Deadline for entry is August 31, and drawing will be held September 1. Winners will be notified immediately after the drawing, and prizes can be picked up at the Information Booth during the week of festival. Winners must present ID and valid vaccine certificate to claim prize. For those opting not to attend the festival in person, alternate arrangements will be made.

The following prizes will be awarded as part of this Vaccine Raffle

  • Five pairs of Full Festival Passes to the 50th Walnut Valley Festival, September 14-18, 2022 (each pair awarded as separate prize)
  • #1 Spot in Land Rush for the 50th Walnut Valley Festival, September 14-18, 2022, Pecan Grove
  • #1 Spot in Land Rush for the 50th Walnut Valley Festival, September 14-18, 2022, West Campground
  • #2 Spot in Land Rush for the 50th Walnut Valley Festival, September 14-18, 2022, Pecan Grove
  • #2 Spot in Land Rush for the 50th Walnut Valley Festival, September 14-18, 2022, West Campground
  • Four $500 cash prizes, provided by the Kansas Leadership Center campaign, Kansas Beats the Virus
  • Eighteen-hole round at Quail Ridge Golf Course with cart for two people, provided by City of Winfield.
  • 2022 Annual Lake Permit, provided by City of Winfield
  • One Year Membership to the Winfield Fitness Center, provided by the Winfield Recreation Commission
  • $25 gift certificate to Bleus Family Dining, 923 Main St. Winfield, KS
  • $25 gift certificate to Biederman’s Bistro, 801 Main St., Winfield KS
  • $25 gift certificate to El Maguey, 3727 Quail Ridge Dr., Winfield KS
  • $25 gift certificate to College Hill Coffee House, 403 Soward St., Winfield KS
  • $25 gift certificate to Shindigs, 500 Main St. Winfield, KS
  • Two tickets to see a show at Cowley Cinema 8, 23046 Avery Ave, Winfield, KS

Executive Director Bart Redford: “We will release details of the streaming platform we’ll be using closer to festival. But I can tell you now that streaming will be offered as an option to anyone who has purchased a ticket to our 49th Walnut Valley Festival, whether that was in December 2019, or last week. We will also offer the streaming package as a stand-alone package. While the streamed show will only include our main stage, viewers will have several chances to see almost all of the performers in our lineup this way.”

Walnut Valley Festival Will Again Offer Online Registration for Land Rush

June 8, 2021 – Winfield, Kansas

Organizers of Walnut Valley Festival will once again offer participants in its Land Rush the opportunity to preregister online in advance of the annual competition to claim campsites just before the start of this year’s festival, which will be held September 15-19.

Devoted fans of the festival have traditionally vied for the opportunity to claim their favorite camping spots early, before most festival-goers arrive on grounds. As these die-hard fans have arrived earlier and earlier each year to claim their spots in the campgrounds, organizers have had to create an equitable process for lining up campers without clogging city streets and major highways in Winfield.

Walnut Valley Association (WVA), which organizes the festival, rolled out a new online component to the process in 2019. Prospective Land Rush participants were offered the chance to pre-purchase camping and essentially added their names to an online queue. WVA will repeat the process this year, although the time period for preregistration has been shortened, from all of July to July 1-9. The online preregistration is ONLY intended to be used by those who intend to take part in both Pre-Lineup and Land Rush. After preregistration, prospective participants in Land Rush are sent information on when and where they should plan to arrive for the initial Pre-Lineup on August 28. Those who have preregistered online will be processed into staging areas on that day and through August 30. Campers arriving after August 30 will be put at the ends of the lines for Pecan Grove or West Campground. Grounds Director Rick Meyer: “While I think many were worried about the online process that we started in 2019, after Land Rush many participants told us that they liked it and hoped that we would keep it. Of course, every new process has some initial bugs, but we are working to make sure the experience goes as smoothly as possible this year, with the benefit of seeing how things worked on the first go-around.

Prospective festival attendees may find more detailed information on the entire Land Rush process by visiting wvfest.com, and then clicking on the header for Camping. The section includes a description of the process, an as-yet-inactive online preregistration form, and a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section.

Walnut Valley Festival Releases 2021 Lineup and Poster

February 15, 2021 – Winfield, Kansas

Perennial favorites and exciting newcomers are scheduled to perform at the 49th Walnut Valley Festival from September 15-19 at the fairgrounds in Winfield, a south-central Kansas town that serves as a mecca for acoustic music lovers. 

While many of the performers featured in a recent virtual festival will return to perform live at WVF 49, festival officials note that there are a few significant changes to the lineup. The Dillards, a legendary band to bluegrass aficionados, have added the Walnut Valley Festival to their fall tour schedule. Dillards band leader Rodney Dillard was a member of The Darlings, a band that was often featured on The Andy Griffith Show. A second band, Pretend Friend, was added to the lineup after winning the festival’s Battle of the Bands, a new online competition unveiled last year. Damn Tall Buildings, Mile Twelve, Steelwind and award-winning mandolinist Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen are Winfield newcomers who were already part of the lineup.

The 2021 lineup will showcase a host of favorites, including Bing Futch, John McCutcheon, Tom Chapin & Michael Mark, and The Steel Wheels. The Byron Berline Band and Winfield’s own bones player Barry Patton will return, as will Missy Raines, Marley’s Ghost, and Ireland’s Socks in the Frying Pan. World class guitarists Beppe Gambetta, Dan Crary of Crary, Evans & Barnick, Helen Avakian & Dave Irwin, and Mark Sganga will be back. Bands like Appalachian Road Show, JigJam, and Chris Jones & the Night Drivers will bring diverse bluegrass and folk acoustic styles to the event. Western music lovers will enjoy traditional to Western Swing from The Cowboy Way and the familiar faces of 3 Trails West, to popular singer/songwriter Juni Fisher, while the praise group GASS will lead a gospel set on Sunday. 1998 National Hammer Dulcimer Champion Mark Alan Wade will return, accompanied by Kyle Baker. Folk singers Roz Brown & Jim Ratts, as well as Adam Miller, are included as well. Linda Tilton will return for her 31st year, to sign for the hearing impaired.

The lineup includes numerous offerings for the young and young at heart. Andy May, a talented singer/songwriter in his own right, will return with his Acoustic Kids, a showcase he developed for talented young players. Feisty’s Music Camp for Kids is back and will feature a host of music-related activities and the possibility of impromptu concerts by headliners.

This year’s poster, designed by Sean de Burca, is the third in a series of posters focusing on campground picking, for which Winfield is famous. London-based de Burca is a graphic designer, illustrator, typographer and fingerstyle guitarist, who creates album artwork, hand-rendered logos and other materials for more than 100 musicians and record labels worldwide.  You may find him at https://www.facebook.com/seandbdesign and contact him at seandbdesign@gmail.com

Walnut Valley Festival Opens Instrument Contest Registration for September 2021

January 14, 2021 – Winfield, Kansas

Officials at Walnut Valley Association (WVA) have announced that registration for the 49th Walnut Valley Festival acoustic instrument championships officially open on January 14, 2021. Contest registration is the first significant event to take place since the festival was postponed, and signals the organization’s intent to hold the event live in Winfield September 15-19, 2021

Along with the National Flat Pick Guitar Championship and the International Finger Style Guitar Championship, the Walnut Valley Festival hosts the International Autoharp, National Mandolin, National Mountain Dulcimer, National Hammered Dulcimer, National Bluegrass Banjo, and Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championships. These competitions take place live in front of an audience, and annually attract more than 175 contestants from the US and foreign countries. Some of the contestants are drawn from the winners of earlier competitions at other festivals and events across the country.

Participants will need to closely review the contest rules posted on the official website, since WVA has made a few changes. For this year only, due to the postponement of the championships in 2020, the maximum number of contestants in all contests has been increased from 40 to 55 musicians. Contestants that had registered last year were contacted and offered a spot in the upcoming 2021 contests, and the increased number of contestants will still allow for some new registrants this year.  

Contest judges, competitors, and spectators also submitted suggestions for improving the contests’ rules and judging criteria, and a contest committee incorporated a number of these recommendations in the International Finger Style Guitar Championship, the Flat Pick Guitar Championship, the Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championship and the Bluegrass Banjo Championship.

New registrations will be taken online for the 2021 competitions beginning at 9am Central Time on Thursday, January 14 at https://www.wvfest.com/register/, and will also be accepted by phone or mail.

WVA continues to closely monitor recommendations of national, state and local health agencies related to mass gatherings, and officials are hopeful that conditions will allow for a live outdoor festival this fall. For those who purchased tickets for the 49th Walnut Valley Festival, tickets will be valid for entry in 2021.

WVA Contest Director Karen Deal: “Contestants from around the world have been contacting me since October.  They are thrilled the competitions are being planned and are especially excited to get back to Winfield.”

Walnut Valley Festival to Offer Spring Workshops in March 2021

December 10, 2020

Winfield, Kansas—Officials at Walnut Valley Association (WVA) have announced that they will offer a weekend’s worth of online workshops in the spring of 2021. The workshop sessions will be held March 20-21, 2021 via Zoom. These workshops, taught by master musicians, will be hands-on sessions intended to help participants improve their skills on instruments of their choice. Almost 100 workshops will be offered by more than 20 workshop instructors, covering a wide variety of instruments, techniques and styles. A full listing with details of the workshops is available at wvfest.com/2021-spring-workshops. Registration is now open.

While most of the workshops are 90-minute sessions geared toward adults, there will also be offerings targeted at a younger audience. These sessions are shorter, and are intended for the specific needs of kids and young adults. They are also less expensive, offered at $30 rather than the $50 charge for the adult workshops. Several workshops will be family friendly, including various sing-a-longs and lessons for beginners, special interest workshops will focus on various themes and techniques.

The workshops will offer broad range of instruments, with some instructors offering the chance to gain proficiency on instruments rarely featured in WVA’s workshops, live or otherwise. The list of instructors taking part and their instruments or specialty includes:  

Aubrey Atwater – Tin Whistle and Special Interests
Helen Avakian – Finger Style Guitar
Stephen Bennett – Finger Style Guitar
Ron Block – Finger Style Guitar
Greg Cahill – Bluegrass Banjo
Elaine & Larry Conger – Mountain Dulcimer and Bass Mountain Dulcimer
Elwood Donnelly – Harmonica and Special Interests
Betse Ellis – Fiddle
Steve Eulberg – Hammer Dulcimer
Cathy Fink – Clawhammer Banjo and Children’s workshops
Juni Fisher – Songwriting
Bing Futch – Mountain Dulcimer

Andrew Hatfield – Mandolin
Chris Jones – Songwriting
John McCutcheon – Songwriting
Marcy Marxer – Ukulele and Children’s workshops
Andy May – Beginner Guitar and Beginner Mandolin
Adam Miller – Chromatic Autoharp
Erin Mae Lewis – Chromatic Mountain Dulcimer & Children’s workshops
Jo Ann Smith – Diatonic Autoharp
Kenny Smith – Flat Pick Guitar
Linda Tilton – Ukulele
Pete Wernick – Jammin’
Jake Workman – Flat Pick Guitar

WVA offered a number of online instrument workshops as part of its virtual festival, WVF 48.5, in September. WVA Workshop Coordinator Karen Deal said, “We had such a positive response from both the instructors and the participants that we felt like this was something we could offer to support both groups. The instructors receive the lion’s share of the registration fees, which supports them at a time when they still have very few live gigs going. And the participants have a chance to, at least mentally, get out and take part in a group activity, even if it is still from their own living rooms! While we see some very positive signs that we will be able to offer these workshops live in September, it seems likely that folks still might not be able to take part in live workshops in late March.” WVA Executive Director Bart Redford: “We thought it would be nice to offer these just on the heels of the time when Greg Tucker and Gail Haywood-Tucker traditionally gather their friends and celebrate Greg’s birthday as well the fact that they have made it ‘Halfway to Winfield.’ John McCutcheon, who did such a great job with his celebration of Winfield during our virtual WVF 48.5, is also preparing an online concert to be held on the Friday of the that weekend as well.”

Walnut Valley Virtual Festival 48.5 Nears Conclusion

Winfield, Kansas—The performance portion of the Walnut Valley virtual Festival, officially dubbed WVF 48.5, reached its conclusion last Sunday, Sept. 20. However, the virtual festival web page, https://www.wvfest.com/wvf-48-5/, continues to be active, and the videos will remain up for viewing till the end of September, as planned. Funds raised during the campaign will help performers and the festival, and donations are still being accepted. 

Festival officials say that the individual videos of the performances, totaling more than 40 hours of content, were loaded over 24,000 times, and played by at least 11,865 unique visitors to the site. Those who donated received a range of goodies, from guitar picks to facemasks, t-shirts and mugs, to a specially designed game tailored to festival fans. So far, donations have reached $38,551 of a target of $150,000, with 6 days left in the fundraising campaign. 

WVF 48.5 officially began Sept. 12, with a series of instrument workshops conducted by Zoom. More than 130 people took advantage of the chance to learn from the masters, and the workshops featured sessions on a variety of instruments, taught by a who’s who of bluegrass musicians–Stephen Bennett, Dan Crary, Bill Evans, Juni Fisher, Bing Futch, Grace Van’t Hof, Chris Jones, Adam Miller, Mark Sganga, Mark Stoffel, Missy Raines, and Mark Alan Wade. 

From Monday, Sept. 14 through Friday, Sept. 18, a series of concert events were broadcast, including a collection of memorable performances on Stage 5, one of the festival’s best-known camp stages, and a virtual Winfield Music Crawl with sets from several local bands. This was followed by a special showing of a video produced for the festival’s 25th anniversary, giving an inside look at some of the main features of the Walnut Valley Festival, including camping, concerts, contests and crafts.  

Wednesday saw the airing of an evening concert with John McCutcheon, devoted to “Community in COVID-19,” which featured guest appearances from Muriel Anderson, Michael Mark, Tom Chapin and his daughters, Abigail and Lily, The Steel Wheels, Socks in the Frying Pan, and several others. This was followed by a video devoted to Andy May’s Acoustic Kids, a long-running program which focuses on mentoring talented young bluegrass players. Thursday, September 17, a special Champions Showcase concert was shown, with performances by 7 of the winners of last year’s 8 instrument contests—the International Autoharp Championship—Doug Pratt, International Finger Style Guitar Championship—Adam Gardino, the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship—Grant Olson, National Mandolin Championship—R. Wesley Carr,  National Flat Pick Guitar Championship—Allen Shadd, National Hammer Dulcimer Championship—Nate Pultorak and National Bluegrass Banjo—Eric Welty. Information on those winners can be found at www.wvfest.com/contest-winners/ 

On Friday, September 18, a special edition of the festival’s NewSong Showcase was shown. The NewSong Showcase offers a chance for aspiring songwriters to submit their work for review by a professional songwriter/artist, with the opportunity to appear on stage during the festival. This year the top participants recorded videos of their performances, which were streamed on Friday evening. Immediately following this another campground stage, Stage 11, continued on with other talented songwriters offsite on social media. 

Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, were devoted to streaming concerts by artists who were scheduled to perform in Winfield this year. Most of the performances were recorded specifically for this event, but there were a few videos that featured performances captured elsewhere, at-home performances with missing band members or surrogates, or footage taken at the 2019 Walnut Valley Festival. Performers who contributed videos included 3 TRAILS WEST, Appalachian Road Show, Helen Avakian & David Irwin, Stephen Bennett, Byron Berline Band, Roz Brown & Jim Ratts, Tom Chapin & Michael Mark, The Cowboy Way, Crary, Evans & Barnick, Damn Tall Buildings, Juni Fisher, Bing Futch, Beppe Gambetta, JigJam, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, John McCutcheon, Marley’s Ghost, Mile Twelve, Andy May, Adam Miller, Barry Patton, Missy Raines, Mark Sganga, Socks in the Frying Pan, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, The Steel Wheels, Steelwind, Linda Tilton, and Mark Alan Wade. The staff of Feisty’s Music Camp for Kids also offered sing-a-longs and guest performances via Zoom, aimed at a younger audience, on Saturday morning.  

Winfield’s Legacy Foundation and Winfield Arts and Humanities Council are facilitating the fundraising aspect of the event. Sixty percent of the funds raised will be split equally between all of the artists in the lineup taking part. The remaining forty percent will be used by WVA to pay for production costs of WVF 48.5 as well as to get ready for its 49th Walnut Valley Festival in 2021. To aid in fundraising, Elk Falls Pottery and Art Farm Screen Printing & Design produced special mugs and t-shirts to reward donors. Theurer Auction/Realty also provided a platform for an online auction of festival memorabilia.

Walnut Valley Virtual Festival 48.5 – September 12-20

Winfield, Kansas—The public portion of the Walnut Valley Virtual Festival, officially dubbed WVF 48.5, begins today. The past weekend was spent in online instrument workshops, taught by artists who will appear in streaming concerts this weekend. Funds raised during this week of events and activities will go to help performers and the festival. 

A complete schedule of the online festival’s events can be found on the firm’s website, at wvfest.com/wvf-48-5/, and the onsite portal to view the streaming concerts is www.wvfest.com/wvf-48-5-livestream/.  From Monday, September 14 through Friday, Sept. 18, a series of concert events will be held in the evenings, all beginning at 5:30pm. On Monday a special edition of Vintage Stage 5 will showcase some memorable concerts over the years at one of the festival’s best-known camp stages. On Tuesday, September 15, the broadcast will feature a Winfield tradition brought to the screen—a virtual music crawl, with sets of several local bands. This will be followed by a showing of a video produced for the festival’s 25th anniversary, giving an inside look at some of the main features of the Walnut Valley Festival, including camping, concerts, contests and crafts.  

On Wednesday, September 16, there will be an evening concert with John McCutcheon, devoted to “Community in COVID-19,” which will feature guest appearances from several fellow musicians. This will be followed by a video featuring Andy May’s Acoustic Kids, a long-running program which focuses on mentoring talented young bluegrass players. Thursday, September 17, a special Champions Showcase concert will be shown, with performances by the winners of last year’s instrument contests—the International Autoharp Championship, International Finger-Style Guitar Championship, the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship, National Mandolin Championship, Walnut Valley Old-Time Fiddle Championship, National Flat Pick Guitar Championship, National Hammer Dulcimer Championship and National Bluegrass Banjo. Information on those winners can be found at www.wvfest.com/contest-winners/ 

On Friday, September 18, a special edition of the festival’s NewSong Showcase will be offered online in the evening. The NewSong Showcase offers a chance for aspiring songwriters to submit their work for review by a professional songwriter/artist, with the opportunity to appear on stage at the festival. This year the top participants have recorded videos of their performances, which will be streamed on Friday evening. Immediately following this another campground stage, Stage 11, will continue on with other talented songwriters offsite on social media. 

Saturday and Sunday, September 19-20, will be devoted to streaming concerts by artists who were scheduled to perform in Winfield this year. Most of the performances have been recorded specifically for this event. Performers who have contributed videos include 3 Trails West, Appalachian Road Show, Helen Avakian & David Irwin, Byron Berline Band, Roz Brown & Jim Ratts, Tom Chapin & Michael Mark, The Cowboy Way, Crary, Evans & Barnick, Damn Tall Buildings, Juni Fisher, Bing Futch, Beppe Gambetta, JigJam, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, John McCutcheon, Marley’s Ghost, Mile Twelve, Andy May, Adam Miller, Barry Patton, Missy Raines, Mark Sganga, Socks in the Frying Pan, Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen, The Steel Wheels, Steelwind, Linda Tilton, and Mark Alan Wade & Kyle Baker. The staff of Feisty’s Music Camp for Kids will also be offering sing-a-longs and online mural projects on Saturday morning, and that event requires prior registration, at www.wvfest.com/2020-feisty-music-camp-for-kids-on-zoom/

Winfield’s Legacy Foundation and Winfield Arts and Humanities Council have agreed to facilitate the fundraising aspect of the event. Sixty percent of the funds raised will be split equally between all of the artists in the lineup taking part. The remaining forty percent will be used by WVA to pay for production costs of WVF 48.5 as well as to get ready for its 49th Walnut Valley Festival in 2021. To aid in fundraising, Elk Falls Pottery and Art Farm Screen Printing & Design have agreed to produce special mugs and t-shirts to reward donors. Theurer Auction/Realty is also providing a platform for an online auction of festival memorabilia, as well as the #1 spots at Winfield’s annual Land Rush, where long-time camps claim their camping spots, at https://www.theurer.net/project/details/53857

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