Great Performers are Coming in 2023!

Becky Buller Band
Damn Tall Buildings
Darren & Brooke Aldridge
Shane Hennessy
Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen

Walnut Valley Festival
A Fabulous 50 Years in the Making

Thank you for helping us to commemorate our big 5-0. We enjoyed celebrating it with more than 10,000 of our closest friends.

Winfield, A Bluegrass Musical, was even more magical than we could have imagined. We thank the good folks at Southwestern College’s Theater Department, as well as community members, who transformed Ken Gale’s vision into reality. Seth Bate was central to that effort, and also created a perfect companion piece for our 50th, by writing Winfield’s Walnut Valley Festival.

The reviews of the book have been glowing, including this note from Dan Miller in Bluegrass Unlimited: “The Book does a wonderfully good job of covering all of the various aspects of the festival and it captures them with the feel, flavor, detail and importance they deserve.” We still have copies of the book available, and are taking orders online at

Festivals and venues are still suffering the effects of COVID, and it continued to have an impact on our operations. Our setup and gate operations were subject to complications around COVID cases, and we know that some in the campground had to leave early after contracting it. We thank the City-Cowley County Health Department, and in particular Tom Langer, for on-grounds assistance again this year.

We successfully transitioned to a fully online ticketing process with ETIX, where you were able to get your tickets delivered straight to you via e-mail or a device. Many noticed the difference at the main gate, where our runners were able to take credit card payments, making that wait just a bit shorter. We had some hiccups, but in general we are happy with the changes and look forward to having an even better experience for you when you enter grounds next year. Early-Bird Tickets are available for purchase online at or in our office—they make great holiday gifts.

We know we failed when it came to the opportunity for you to purchase commemorative wear at WVF 50. As Executive Director, I take personal responsibility for that, and I apologize. It was my decision to go with a pre-order format for shirts and, although I did it with the best of intentions, we clearly did not do a sufficient job in alerting everyone to the change in operations. I want to make clear that I did this, and in no way were the outstanding designers at Kinfolk Created or the amazingly tolerant personnel at our Mercantile responsible for this problem. I am working to ensure we have apparel options onsite in 2023.

Overall, though, the surveys we received gave us high marks for the lineup of performers, as well as for our overall organization of WVF 50. That amazing lineup, appropriate to mark our 50th year, came at a higher cost to us than ever before, as performers and agents dealt with rising transport costs and disturbances industry-wide. Rising fuel costs and inflation also played havoc with our budget across the board, from port-a-pot rental to stages and sound.

For those paying attention, ticket prices did not increase from 2021 to 2022, at a time when costs for most goods and services across the nation rose significantly. We will have to make a significant increase in ticket prices this year if we are to survive as a festival. Winfield is still a very good value for the money, especially when compared to ticket prices for similar festivals around the country.

This is our third E-Occasional, and we enjoy what this format allows us to do. Instead of just reading about the results of this year’s contests, you can now listen to the champions’ winning competition sets as well as their encores. With the click of a button, you can hear interviews with the champions, which originally aired on our campground radio station, 105.7 FM. And you can watch the talented songwriters who took part in our two NewSong Showcases at the 50th Walnut Valley Festival.

In January, we are planning for our third virtual Battle of the Band, as we invite performers that have never been part of the official lineup to vie for the chance to play on the big stages in 2023. You can vote for your favorite band(s), and know that the money collected through the voting process will go directly toward the fees to hire the band that YOU have chosen.

We have been putting together an amazing lineup of performers for our 51st festival, some of whom are featured in this newsletter. Aside from the official stages with hours of talented picking, we’ll have 8 instrument championships, a juried arts and crafts fair, and some great food vendors. I think you will agree that we are all in for a good time as we kick off the next 50 years of Winfield.

Bart Redford
Executive Director

2022 Contests Winners

Listen to interviews with WVF 50 Contest Winners.
Hear their competition sets, and their encores during award presentations.

2nd Loriann Clayton-Bethard
1st Betty Scott
3rd Steve Luper

2nd Hiroya Tsukamoto
1st Tim Thompson
3rd Bill Russell

2nd Lloyd Wright
1st Kara Barnard
3rd Dana Hamilton

2nd Ethan Batan
1st Holten Doucette
3rd Ben Cockman

2nd Amanda Grapes Dellinger
1st Eavia Ryan
3rd Nathan Pedneault

2nd Justus Ross
1st Holten Doucette
3rd Ian Ly

2nd Robert Miller
1st John Lionarons
3rd Mickey Sweeney

2nd Steven Moore
1st Jesse Meador
3rd Anthony Howell

Walnut Valley Festival would like to thank the following, who made possible the linked audio and visual materials  included in this Occasional:

     Stage IV Sound Crew:  Greg Smyer, Jim Phillips, Andy Colclasure, Matt Anderson and Seth Gruebel
     Campground Radio: Joe Taverner and Ron McCleary 
     Stage 11 Video (Gypsy Wagon):  David Hakan

Thank you for all your hard work.

2022 Newsong Showcase Winners

Watch NewSong Showcase sets from Thursday and Saturday

Chris Jones NewSong Showcase Curator 2020- Present

Chris Jone’s statement about the 2022 NewSong Showcase entries:  “I was so impressed with the quality of submissions for NewSong Showcase this year; they really were exceptional. I love the process of discovering new songs, so I really appreciate the chance to curate NewSong Showcase on behalf of Walnut Valley Festival. Every year I’m so grateful to the outstanding judges who lend their ears and their hearts to the 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.”

Registration opens March 1, 2023

2022 Paulette Rush Arts & Craft Show Winners

One of the best arts & crafts shows in the area, 2022 witnessed many fine artisans returning for yet another Walnut Valley Festival. Many of the more than 80 displays were first-timers, producing drawings, paintings, jewelry, woodcrafts, glass, metalwork, baskets, pottery, weaving/spinning, leather, herbals & soaps, childrens’ items, a number of food-related items and much more. Artists, crafters, and luthiers came to Walnut Valley from over 20 states… Washington to Alabama, California to Pennsylvania, and lots of local favorites.  Below are the 2021 Arts & Craft Show Winners, as judged by an independent panel of artists.   

Congratulations to the 2022 Paulette Rush Arts & Crafts Show Winners

Mosto Creations
Augustin Morales & Angeles Gonzalez
Van Buren, Arkansas

Second Place

Terry & Mauna Evans
Overland Park, KS

Third Place

Empty Pockets Ironworks
Chris & Laura Hasty
Arkansas City, KS

Pantry Winner

Alberto’s Food Products
Stillwater, OK


Honorable Mention

  1. Denise Renee & Ernie Kind – Wild Wit Art –Wichita, KS
    Dennis Crider –Dennis Crider Photography -West Plains, MO
    Jackie Swafford – Keetonville Hill Pottery -Claremore, OK
    Joseph DeLord – Joe Natural – Montgomery, TX
    Wanda Headrick –Flinthills Aromatherapy – Atlanta, KS
    Krystle Cole – Krystle Cole Fine Art – Wichita, KS
    Amy Fitzpatrick – Care Creations and Metal Works – Yellville, AR

2022 Campsite Winners

1st Place

Lovegrass Lounge

by Lovegrass Music Festival Assoc. Board Members & Friends & Family
Krista Kraus, Aimee Riegel, Jason Riegel, Erin Nichols, Russ Baker, Susan Bauer, Luke Brungardt, Jill Brungardt, Dixie Matzer

2nd Place

Safety First Camp

Ben & Pam Russell & Family, Chris & Ivy Hendrix, Ray Schmidt, Anna Woodworth, Maggie & Shannon Menhusen & Family, Jean Cullum, Kevin Conover, Dorthy Malsom, Floyd Moore, Tene Ramirez, Brady Ramirez, Ruth Raborn, Jaina Mossburg & Family, Jeff Landes, Brendan French, Gail Freedle & Family, Ryan Collins, Evy Adamson, Laura Poskochim, Kevin Edwards, Tammy Lanman-Henderson

3rd Place

Camp Blu-Bop

Tim, Karen & Ella Aiken
(Camp name was inspired by Béla Fleck’s song Blu-Bop.
We have seen him over 40 Times!)

2022 Special Features

2022 Feisty Music Camp for Kids

Feisty Music Camp 4.0 (4th year) was another big success!

Erin Mae Lewis and Aaron Fowler led a total of 96 kids through two afternoons of musical inspiration and fun, with activities including sing-alongs, storytelling, songwriting, rhythm games, music related crafts, and playing mountain dulcimers, ukuleles and spoons and special musical guests.

All who participated enjoyed performances by Tom Chapin with Michael Mark & Jon Cobert, Still on the Hill, Barry Patton with 3 TRAILS WEST, JigJam and Andy May’s Acoustic Kids. Thanks for making the day a little cooler by being there.

Other special guests who performed were Ann Zimmerman, Jeremy Blaes w/ Gretchen Priest-May, Carp Camp, Pink Elephant Camp, Seth & Seaf Bate, Max Finkeldi and Ann Gordon.  Thanks for sharing your talents with our up and coming artists.

A Big Thank You go to the Stage 6 Crew for hosting the camp, Laura Dungan, Ricky Emery, Laura Hansen, Justin Lewis for helping with registration/set-up & clean-up; to Great Plains Dulcimer Alliance for the use of kids mountain dulcimers; and to Winfield Arts & Humanities for the use of kids ukuleles.  A Very Big Thanks go to the Walnut Valley Festival Grounds Crew who made sure we had plenty of ice water through the hot afternoons.

Don’t forget to watch for details for the 2023 Feisty Music Camp!

Cartoon Caption Contest is a Big Hit

New to the Walnut Valley Festival Fun for this year was the Cartoon Caption Contest that Walnut Valley hosted on our Facebook Page during the festival.  Richard Crowson, a highly respected editorial cartoonist and friend of the festival, donated one of his drawings for WVF Fans to create a caption to go with it.  Your creativity came through with some funny and great captions.

Congratulations to Tracy Morris, from the Kansas City area, for the winning caption.  Tracy won a framed, color version of the cartoon with her caption included.  Thank you Tracy, and all of you, for participating in the fun activity.

The Prize Cartoon
Richard Crowson & Tracy Morris

Bob's Place to Host Jam Sessions

Beginning 2023 Bob’s Place will host monthly gatherings for jam sessions. In January, first gathering is for beginners to intermediate pickers, and will be Thursday, Jan. 12, 7pm. Second gathering will be for advanced, and will be Saturday, Jan. 28, 1pm. Anyone is welcome to attend either or both session, however. If you would like to be on the contact list, send email to, in subject line, Picking at Bob’s Place.

The Walnut Valley Association Says Thank You!

We would like to offer a special “thank you” to all those who attended the 50th Walnut Valley Festival.  Our grateful thanks also to all who worked extra hard under extreme circumstances to make it a success: Walnut Valley Workers, Staff and Crew; Artists and Craftsmen; Food Vendors, Sound; Sanitation; Security; the people of Winfield and Cowley County; and the City of Winfield.

The Entertainers
Stephen Bennett & Bill Gurley
Bryan Bowers
Roz Brown & Jim Ratts
Tom Chapin & Friends
Crary Evans & Smith
Damn Tall Buldings
Béla Fleck My Bluegrass Heart
Bing Futch
Beppe Gambetta
Green Flamingos
Shane Hennessy
Ernie Hill
Kelly Hunt
Chris Jones & The Night
Marley’s Ghost
Andy May
John McCutcheon
Tim O’Brien Band
Barry Patton
Pedersen, Flynn & Jorgenson
Pretend Friend
Socks in the Frying Pan
Dave Stamey
The Steel Wheels
Still on the Hill
Linda Tilton
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
Mark Alan Wade & Steven Seifert
Weda Skirts
Whiskey Mash Band

Beautiful Music Violin Shop
Bourgeois Guitars
Collings Guitars
d’Aigle Autoharps
Deering Banjo Company
The Dulcimer Shoppe /
   McSpadden Dulcimers
Huss & Dalton Guitar Co.
C.F. Martin & Co., Inc.
Master Works, Inc.
OME Banjos
Taylor Guitars
Preston Thompson Guitars
Rick Thum Hammer
Whippoorwill Acoustics

The Acoustic Music Shoppe
Blue Chip Picks
Elliott Capos
Fishman Transducers, Inc.
Landis Studios
Prestige Monogram
Silver Pearl Designs
Solid Ground Stands
Sparks Music
Brendan White
     Jewelry Design
Wichita Hat Works
Wolf Hill Woodworking


Pre-Festival Workshops
Seth & Jenny Bate
Lee & Marcia Evans
First Baptist Church

Dan Cribbs
Pam Cribbs
Kevin Dean
Melinda Farris
Sandy Flottman
Sheridon Flottman
Sierra Flottman
Kris Junker
Larry Junker
Debbie McNinch

Feisty Music Camp
Erin Mae Lewis
Aaron Fowler
Stage 6
Leo Eilts
Roger Eilts
Great Plains Dulcimer
Winfield Arts &
     Humanities Council

Greg Smyer Sound
Pro Audio Systems

WVA Friends
Debbie Carr
Derick Earls
Erica Lann-Teubner
Ron McCleary
Grant Olson
Doug Pratt
Nate Pultorak
Joe Taverner
Joyce Teubner
Mike Theobald
Eric Welty

Emcees / Stage Managers
Keith Anglemyer
Seth Bate
Dave Bellavia
Karla Campbell
Karen Deal
John DePew
Jesse Friesen
Orin Friesen
Aaron Fowler
Jeni Grey
Dave Higgs
Jon Huber
Dennis LeFevre
Richard Lungstrum
Lara Mann
Steve Miller
Virginia Musser
Veronika Nelson
Duane Porterfield
Dick Powers
Kathy Rogers
Josh Rood
Mike Shirkey
Tim Sidebottom
Steve Snook
Richard Sobek
Andrea Springer
Glenn Wooddell

Office Personnel
Rae Lynne Baker
Becky Conway
Karen Deal
Sarah Emrick
Marcia Evans
Rex Flottman
Larry J. Hittle
Helen Holdeman
Bart Redford
Jim Stevens

Get your tickets early and save with the Early Bird Special!

Early Bird Special

$ 100 For the Full Festival!
  • Full Festival (Five Days) - $100
Best Deal!

Advance Price

$ 125 For the Full Festival!
  • Full Festival (Five Days) - $125
  • Two Days (Friday & Saturday) - $110
  • Two Days (Saturday & Sunday) - $100
  • Friday Only** - $80
  • Saturday Only** - $80

Gate Price

$ 150 For the Full Festival!
  • Available at the Gate Only
  • Full Festival (Five Days) - $150
  • Two Days (Friday & Saturday) - $130
  • Two Days (Saturday & Sunday) - $120
  • Thursday Only** - $85
  • Friday Only** - $90
  • Saturday Only** - $90
  • Sunday Only** - $30
  • Children 6-11 - $10
  • Children 5 & Under - Free With Paid Adult
  • Advance Tickets Guarantee Admission!
  • Advance Tickets may be purchased at the Festival Office (918 Main Street, Winfield) or at the Ticket Trailer (at the campgrounds) until 5:00 PM Friday, September 8th.
  • Festival gate and campgrounds will open Saturday, September 2nd from 7 AM – 7 PM
  • Only Full-Festival ticket holders will be allowed on Festival grounds prior to Thursday, September 14th(Please do not invite persons without tickets to visit you on grounds.  They will not be admitted.)

One-day tickets are valid from 6:00 a.m. until midnight or until 30 minutes after last stage closes and do NOT entitle you to stay overnight in the campgrounds.  Those staying overnight must have at least a two-day ticket.

See you September 13-17, 2023!

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Office Hours


9am-Noon; 1pm to 5pm