Walnut Valley Festival

Winfield's legendary bluegrass blowout featuring Split Lip Rayfield / Truckstop Honeymoon / The Wilders / Drakkar Sauna / Midday Ramblers and many, many more

Cowley County Fairgrounds

2008 is shaping up to be one of the most unusual years in the Walnut Valley Festival's 37-year run. For one, there's the fact that the entire festival grounds are under several inches or more water. Festival organizers say that the Walnut River waters are already subsiding and they expect the shows on the main four stages of the festival to go off as planned (if a little soggy). For many Winfield faithful, though, the real reason for heading down to south-central Kansas is the unofficial side of the festival-the performances and jams and general good times in the campground area-which has been closed due to the flooding. However, several hundred (if not thousand) campers have set up show NE of the festival at the Winfield City Lake, where the fabled Stages 5 and 7 will be. For more info and updates go to: lawrence.com/winfieldUPDATE, 9/13/08: The fairgrounds have been closed to camping due to extensive flooding (video). The main festival is scheduled to continue as planned. However performances that traditionally occur at stages 5 and 7 and elsewhere in the campgrounds have been moved to the Winfield City Lake, which accommodates camping. Stage 5 is reportedly setting up near the marina (area 1 zone 2), and Stage 7 in area 1 zone 3. A list of refugee campground locations posted here. Updates also available through the Yahoo Winfield group listserv.More information to be posted here as it becomes available...Ask any bluegrass musician in Kansas what their favorite time of year is, and mid-September is bound to get the most enthusiastic response. That's because of the annual Walnut Valley Festival, a four-day music and camping festival in Winfield that serves as Kansas's closest answer to Telluride. Though it lacks the big name headliners of that festival, Winfield's down-home charm keeps the faithful from across the country coming back year after year to pick out old-time tunes with new friends in the campgrounds. Many of the best performances take place late at night on the unofficial campground stages, where independent-minded groups like Split Lip Rayfield, Truckstop Honeymoon, and Drakkar Sauna have earned rabid followings. And as long as you plopped down $80 for a four-day pass, you might as well sleepwalk over to the main stages to check out perennial faves like John McCutcheon and Beppe Gambetta as well as newcomers like The Greencards and The Wiyos and assorted instrumental competitions. And if you get burnt out on bluegrass, there's always ample time for snoozin', swimmin', drinkin', tomfoolerin', and washer tossin'.Walnut Valley Festival on The Turnpike, featuring Drakkar Sauna, The Wilders, Truckstop Honeymoon, Konza Swamp Band, and High on the Hog.Gate Prices:Full-festival(4-day) $902-day, Friday/Saturday $70 Saturday/Sunday $60Friday $35Saturday $35 Thursday (gate only) $35 Sunday (gate only) $15Full performer schedule, directions and more at www.wvfest.comCamping info. We suggest taking your regular camp set-up (tent, sleeping bag, hatchet, flashlight/lantern, battery operated radio etc.) in addition to stable foods, like potatoes, onions, carrots, etc. Cans are preferred over bottles, and recycling is available. There is an (affordable) ice wagon that regularly attends to campsites, as well as several water and food stands just inside the main stage gate. Showers are also available in several locations for a small fee.Always take water-friendly gear, including a rain coat, because it ALWAYS rains at least one day during the festival.Taking at least $15 per person, per day (in addition to camping and ticket cost) in spending money is advisable. From our experience Cingular and Verizon cell phones work in the campgrounds. Sprint does not (though service is usually available 10 minutes away in the town of Winfield).Directions from Lawrence
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