The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #72294   Message #1243519
Posted By: JohnInKansas
09-Aug-04 - 05:13 PM
Thread Name: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
Subject: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
It's getting close. The Walnut Valley Association (WVA) website says "36 Days until the Festival" --- but they lie.

Official Festival Dates: September 15 thru 19, 2004.

If you want a choice of camp sites, Landrush is Sept 9, 2004. This is the first date on which you can "set up camp." There is generally enough space to camp without much hassle if you arrive later, but the available spots dwindle steadily from Landrush on.

If you really want a good camp site, you need to be near the front of the line for Landrush, and the "Lineup" for the Landrush begins September 1, 2004. (See info at the Landrush page.) During the Lineup, Sept 1 thru Sept 8, you park "in line" wherever they tell you to, and sit and wait. Note that while you can't really "set up camp," nothing prevents wandering around and finding a few friends (or otherwise) to pick with, or just to listen. It's a good chance to meet new pickers, since you don't get a chance to "sequester" your usual group.

If you want a good spot near the front of the line for Lineup
– which is necessary if you want a good place in line for the Landrush
– which is necessary if you hope to get a "favorite" campsite and and/or utility (electric) hookup,
by custom, those who camp in the RV Park to wait for the Lineup are given "first place in order of arrival" for Lineup. (Note that there's no guarantee that "custom" will be followed, but it has been for several years.) Since RV Park rules prohibit camping for more than 14 days (you must leave for at least 24 hours before you may return) the earliest "Pre-Lineup" date is August 18, 2004.

Those who go early and park in the RV Park "Pre-Lineup" do have the occasional session, but many people actually have jobs (an astonishing concept) so they may leave their "marker" vehicle (and pay the camping fees) and go back to town. Since I'm the only one in our group of about 2 dozen without gainful employment, I expect to get there about Aug 18 or 19, and will "hang close to camp" and use the time to do a little practicing (a rare thing) and to catch up on some of my paperwork (laptops are useful, sometimes). Present plans are that LiK will join me for Lineup on Sept 1, although once she comes down we'll have to take turns making almost daily trips back home to slop the hogs and such (only about 90 miles round-trip).

The official schedule for performers is at "Schedule". You have to click on each "day" to see who's performing, where, and when. For the "where" part of it, visit the Stages page.

A more useful breakdown of who the "hired songslingers" are is at the "Index." If you click the "Walnut Valley Index" link on the schedule page, you get a 162 KB .pdf file that lists all of the performers with all of the scheduled performances for each of them. There are likely some names there that will be recognized by most 'catters.

There are enough really great acts that I sometimes feel a little guilty that I haven't been to a stage show in the past 8 or 10 years, but once things get going it's hard to break up a campground session to conform to a performance schedule. And you can (nearly) always buy the record…

While the WVA web site is occasionally useful, those interested in the "flavor" of things should visit Don Shorock's Picker's Paradise pages. Don has wandered around the campground and recorded some of the noises he found. There's a map there where you can click on a camp and hear some of it. He also has links to "camp websites" for many groups from whom he has no recordings. Ours is included (without music), as The Watering Hole on the "East Pecan Grove" section of Don's map (the light blue section of his first map). (We've added some "identifications" for a few of the camp members that you may not have seen if you've visited in the past. Mostly a pretty boring lot.)

We know several 'catters who are usually there, and generally how to find them (we hope). They, or any others who expect to be there, are invited to post who, where, and how to be recognized – or anything else of interest. Those who won't be there may also post, so we'll know whom we may talk about (safely) while we're havin' fun.

John