WINFIELD, KS. – The stages are set, entertainers are en route, and the grounds are dry. The Walnut Valley Festival is geared up and ready to go! For the 48th consecutive year, musicians and music lovers from all over the world are setting their sights on Winfield for the annual event.
Last week’s land rush saw over 900 camping units engage in a rush to claim prime camping spots in the fairgrounds at Winfield. The rain held off just long enough to finish that process, settling the dust, but has now given way to sunny, blue skies.
The list of groups that are new to Winfield is long this year, with over 40% of the lineup consisting of performers appearing at Walnut Valley Festival for the first time. JigJam, a quartet from Ireland, will introduce fans to a style of music called I-Grass—Bluegrass played with an Irish flair. Other new performers this year include the powerhouse group J2B2 (John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band); The Quitters; past International Finger Style Guitar Champions Christie Lenée and her trio, as well as Muriel Anderson, the first woman to win the National Finger Style Guitar Championship. Appalachian Road Show, Short Round String Band, Matchsellers/Bluegrasstronauts, Ashley Lewis and Legacy, The Cowboy Way, and Old Salt Union round out the list of newcomers.
Festival goers will also find artists they have come to support such as Della Mae, Bing Futch, John McCutcheon, Socks in the Frying Pan, Chris Jones & the Night Drivers and Winfield’s own Barry Patton, who earlier this year won an international bones playing competition in Ireland.
Tickets for the Festival are on sale at the Fairgrounds entrance on 9th Street. The Festival welcomes between 10,000-12,000 annually for the 5-day music extravaganza.
The Walnut Valley Festival, held Sept. 18-22, 2019, draws a crowd of 10,000-12,000 people to Winfield, KS, to celebrate a blend of all kinds of acoustic music, including bluegrass, folk, Americana, a little bit of cowboy, some Celtic, blues, jazz, swing and more. This will be the 48th annual festival organized by the Walnut Valley Association (WVA). WVA also organizes eight national and international instrument contests, ranging from the flagship National Flat Pick Guitar Championship, to the International Finger Style Guitar, International Autoharp, National Mountain Dulcimer, National Mandolin, National Hammer Dulcimer, National Bluegrass Banjo and Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championships. Winfield also hosts a series of workshops on the Wednesday of festival, where patrons can learn from some of the best musicians in the business on instruments ranging from guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin, to the hammer and mountain dulcimer.
Photo Caption: Attendees at the 2019 Walnut Valley Festival relax while jamming together in the festival campgrounds.