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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 wvfest.com/shop/
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 wvfest.com/tickets 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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
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
Tim, Karen & Ella Aiken
(Camp name was inspired by Béla Fleck’s song Blu-Bop.
We have seen him over 40 Times!)
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!
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, in subject line, Picking at Bob’s Place.
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.
3 TRAILS WEST
Stephen Bennett & Bill Gurley
Roz Brown & Jim Ratts
Tom Chapin & Friends
Crary Evans & Smith
Damn Tall Buldings
Béla Fleck My Bluegrass Heart
Chris Jones & The Night
Tim O’Brien Band
Pedersen, Flynn & Jorgenson
Socks in the Frying Pan
The Steel Wheels
Still on the Hill
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
Mark Alan Wade & Steven Seifert
Whiskey Mash Band
The Acoustic Music Shoppe
Blue Chip Picks
Fishman Transducers, Inc.
Silver Pearl Designs
Solid Ground Stands
Wichita Hat Works
Wolf Hill Woodworking
Seth & Jenny Bate
Lee & Marcia Evans
First Baptist Church
Feisty Music Camp
Erin Mae Lewis
Great Plains Dulcimer
Winfield Arts &
Greg Smyer Sound
Pro Audio Systems
Emcees / Stage Managers
Rae Lynne Baker
Larry J. Hittle
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.