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.