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Winfield '99

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j0_77 18 Sep 99 - 03:32 PM
DougR 19 Sep 99 - 02:04 PM
Bill D 19 Sep 99 - 05:30 PM
j0_77 19 Sep 99 - 06:38 PM
Lyle 19 Sep 99 - 09:20 PM
j0_77 19 Sep 99 - 09:51 PM
Art Thieme 19 Sep 99 - 10:24 PM
j0_77 19 Sep 99 - 11:14 PM
MaryLee 23 Sep 99 - 11:40 PM
j0_77 24 Sep 99 - 12:55 AM
folk1234 24 Sep 99 - 09:53 AM
wlisk 24 Sep 99 - 11:05 AM
MaryLee 24 Sep 99 - 07:41 PM
harpgirl 24 Sep 99 - 08:26 PM
Art Thieme 24 Sep 99 - 11:53 PM
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Subject: Winfield '99
From: j0_77
Date: 18 Sep 99 - 03:32 PM

It's proper title 'Walnut Valley Folk Festival' ...hmmm just as I expected, it 'is' a very big festival again.

The weather is a mixed bag some sunshine some overcast skies but so far no rain.

The size of the gathering makes it a little irksome to get to see everything. Perhaps that could be the price you've to pay for such diversity, more on this point later.

Providing services for the 'phoaks' is quite an undertaking, security, water-conveniences etc, explains why the tickets are 50-70 bucks. The City Police provide support in the camp ground which makes some 'phoaks' a little edgy. Patrol Cars drive through the Camp grounds on a fairly regular basis, a good idea especialy at night. These guys are polite and friendly so I was happy to see them there.

Vendors. Very good. Every one had a great selection and some 'mighty' instruments. I especialy liked the Deering Banjo display, they offer a beginners instrument. I tried one and loved it. Lot of guys just visitin and pickin - fair distribution of ages - seems to me there are more teens playing folk :) Can't say I am surprised listening to some of the stuff on Radio. Same reason I took to folk music :)

Artists. Great selection and if into the medium of each or all, stages seating etc very good.

A lot of people go there just to jamm, again the variety is enormous. Wmndering about with my old 1920's Melodian I managed to get into several jamms with all kinds of instruments. The most fun was being invited into a string bash with Banjo and Dulcimers. Just a little taste of what can be found for an 'odd' jammer like me :)


Size and cost. First a casual day visitor ticket that is tooo high, way too high. I can see the need to charge 50 bucks for the 4 days with camping -which incidently is not the case. Camping is extra. But curious walkins who may just stay for a couple of hours. Hey look at the Woody Festival Okemah OK July 14th. If they can do it so can WV.


Folk music is free or ought to be and if people want to meet and pick so be it, look at Maggie Valley Tenn - that was to begin a great place, just jammin and no commercial stuff. Now there is nothing else there but commercial stuff and no picking!


My impression of jammers at WV this year was they did not care about the price only the music. Funny thing I know a lot of very good pickers who could not afford the day ticket let alone the weekend one. In a way Winfield is kicking it's own butt.


I may go back this evening(last night stayed up tooo late again)and stay over till tomorrow. One more little diversion which is almost inevitable in a very large festival, finding things to keep children amused while Ma and Pa pick, visit and jamm. I could not help but notice elementary school age kids hanging out even at 9 - 10 pm. They had no interest in the music but boy they were havin a ball watching the adults. It must be an amazin experience for the lil guys. But then there are other things kids can do.


Fences! Why all the high fences? Why all the needless long long walks to and from the camping ground to the stage areas? A couple of years ago I recall the crowd simply pulled down the fences, this year there is a surplus of security so it looks like the fences will stay. They are ugly and out of place at a folk festival.


Despite all these lil irks, it is still worth checking out. Rating - 7 out of 10 -it is a big unertaking but some bad planning It could be better!

On till Sunday Evening.

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: DougR
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 02:04 PM

j0 77:

Other than that, what did you think of Winfield '99? :)


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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 05:30 PM

Jo...the first 2 years there were hardly any fences...then some guy got smashed on vodka and fell out of the grandstand and the ususal crowd was bringing coolers of beer, about year 3 the fences went up, and they were mighy serious about 'em from the beginning...I hated it, but I sort of think they were smart to draw the line....too bad, but after 8-10 years of NOT seeing drunken idiots around the main stages, I realized it might be worth it....

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: j0_77
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 06:38 PM

Good point - I agree it's not the drinking that attracts folks there but as I was trying to point out there will be problems when a festival grows so big. Planning next year's festival will be a hard job. The fact is that you could get into some jamms where the standard of playing was very very good. There will be a bigger crowd next year!

Fences - I did not mind them where they were needed but where it made people walk needless long loops around things - like an open space infront of stage 2 ??? Why - when you got to stage 2 you could go up the hill to the other side of the same fence?????

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: Lyle
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 09:20 PM

The theme of Winfield is to "pass the music on." My grandchildren have been going there for the past 11 years (except for the smallest who is only three) and we have always felt safe letting them be anywhere on the grounds. Like Bob Redford said about the searching of ALL things that you bring into the grounds, "If you object to the search, don't come!" I, and the other 12000 people who have been going there for many years, support that wholeheartedly. There are tons of us who go for the music, and a lot more who go for the music AND the jams. When the fences come down and it disintegrates into something like the Woody Guthrie Festival at Okemah OK, (formerly held at Tulsa) it would be just another dumpy little festival. Right now it is simply the absolute best festival in the known universe.

One other thing -- maybe the music should be free; but I for one am happy to pay even more so that the performers can make a living! (Maybe Art T would agree????)

Lyle, who just took children and grandchildren there for 4 days to "pass the music on!"

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: j0_77
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 09:51 PM

Dear Lyle - how nice to be able to get to a 'festival' of 'folk' anywhere anytime. Walnut Valley is not the biggest or the best, it is one of the biggest. Best? you know something Lyle, I wonder . Last year and the year before there were 100s of bluegrass groups - and very few oldtime duets. Amazing - I woul've thought that those little bands were the source of the few great hoedown tunes out here. Seems the organisers agree - course I did not call em on the phone or anything - kinda like the nose on yer face, it was OBVIOUS.

Folk and festivals, well used to be a County Fair and a bunch of farmers pickin under a tree but then that was folk. No fences no money changing hands just good healthy folk music clean and simple. Still happens but I would not want to ruin something very special by advertising where and when.

Woody Guthrie - there were many not just a few Nationaly known artists just driftin around the place, can't say I was surprised after all Woody was the first commercial REALfolk singer - he actualy believed in what he did. The Okemah festival can only get bigger. While on the subject they charged $5=00 to get in any day and $5=00 to camp the whole week end. There were more young folk there than at any festival I've seen in many a long year, and they could pick as well/here I mean bring home the bacon if ya know what I'm takin bout. No beer/??? sessions. Yup definitely a family folk festival. In fact if I had to bring my family to a festival it would be Okemah.

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: Art Thieme
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 10:24 PM

I was at the Woody Fest in Tulsa several years when the Guthrie tributes were part of a HUGE downtown festival. One "stage" was in a laurdromat. Me & Kate Wolf did a song swap in a fast food pizza restaurant.

Okemah has to be better than that...

And it's probably what the town needed too. When I got there a few decades ago it was a pretty rundown place.


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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: j0_77
Date: 19 Sep 99 - 11:14 PM

Yup Art it is time Oklahoma accepts the fact that Woody was a very special person - and an Okie :) The Okemah festival is about what some younger folk musicians are about even some of the commercial country/folk bands have the 'buzz'.

You can only go so far to the right before it gets sick. Nuff said.

We need the truth again and there are no songs telling it like it is - I wonder who/when/where the bubble will burst . Okemah is where that's at.

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: MaryLee
Date: 23 Sep 99 - 11:40 PM

Didn't get to either Winfield or Okemah, but I know for a fact, those that did, enjoyed both. I've been to Winfield several times, and felt it was about this close to heaven!!

As a matter of fact, Winfield was where I felt I finally became "Dulcified".

I know the Banjo and Dulcimer folks mentioned in the first message. Who would believe it!! Banjo's and Dulcimers in the same tent!!! Well, we at OCTMA know they can, and do, mix. As they say, "Some of my best friends play the Banjo"!!!

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: j0_77
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 12:55 AM

Thanks MaryLee and friends :) There were some excellent Hammer Dulcimer players there - also much to my surprise some very good Clawhammer Banjoists.

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: folk1234
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 09:53 AM

Hey MaryLee, I didn't know you were a mudcatter! Welcome aboard. To me, you sound like soneone who would like an old Kris Kristopherson movie called "Bloom's in Love". (Inside joke) Re Windfield: Isn't the official theme song "Oh The Wind and the Rain"? Happy chords, and please mention the Mudcat Cafe in our newsletter.

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: wlisk
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 11:05 AM

Winfield was great again this year. What a treat to visit and play music with old (& young) friends. We look forward to and plan toward the festival all year. I was especially touched when John McCutcheon sang Welcome the Traveler Home and dedicated it to Stuart Mossman. Many don't know that it was Stuart's idea to start the festival. It was on the way home from Mountain View Ark after the bean festival that he envisioned starting a fesival in Winfield. He told me once that Doc Watson volunteered his time to play the festival in the very early days. We missed seeing Stuart ... Bill

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: MaryLee
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 07:41 PM

Hey, folk1234 ! NOW I remember who mentioned Mudcat in the first place!! 'Tis easy to get hooked!

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Subject: Windfield Memories
From: harpgirl
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 08:26 PM

...Hi Art! When I lived in Arkansas about about 79 or 80 I rendezvoused with Bryan B to hang and play harps and I tented about a hundred yards from the main stage. There were no fences then and a band of Hell's Angels tented near me.It was a very laid back festival in those days...
I remember having dinner with Bryan and Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard as well as a bunch I didn't recognize. Come to think of it, Kate Wolfe might have been with us!) (Didn't know of her then...having been in Ann Arbor for so long)(when Mike and Alice were still an item of course) in a diner in town. Another year I went to enter the first contest and I was too shy and Marty Schuman won the "First International Competition" in autoharp that year: 1981.
Even though I lived in Florida from 1983 on, it wasn't until 1991 that I found a way to introduce myself to Marty and to become friends! I was really shy in those days! But Winfield was much smaller in those days...harpgirl

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Subject: RE: Winfield '99
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Sep 99 - 11:53 PM


Abby, Kate didn't ever play Winfield I don't think. I was talking about Tulsa, Oklahoma when I mentioned that songswap in a Rocky Rococo's Pizza fast food place during TULSAFEST or whatever it was called. That was back during the time that Oral Roberts was trying to get anybody to "keep him from dying" by giving him a million bucks---and somebody did give it to him. Remember that? One of the the two huge sculpted praying hands at Oral Roberts University dropped down with it's palm up --- like it was waiting for a handout!!


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