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 email@example.com