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Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004

09 Aug 04 - 05:13 PM (#1243519)
Subject: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: JohnInKansas

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.


09 Aug 04 - 08:00 PM (#1243633)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Sorcha

I spent all the money in England. Can't go this year either.

11 Aug 04 - 05:53 AM (#1244592)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: JohnInKansas

Sorcha -

all the money in England?????

Aren't the English a little ticked off that you spent all the money that was there?

If we can find a suffient number of 'catters to frolick and cavort appropriately, perhaps we'll blow some herbal smoke to the four corners for friends who aren't there (or whatever ritual finds favor at an opportune moment).


13 Aug 04 - 04:46 AM (#1246592)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: JohnInKansas


13 Aug 04 - 10:53 PM (#1247343)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Louie Roy

John I never looked it up on a map where Winfield is but I spent 3 weeks in the Elkin area jamming with my Ist 2nd and 3rd cousins 2 years ago and I never had more fun anywhere.There are some real talented Hill billies in the Roy Clan in that area Louie Roy

14 Aug 04 - 01:52 AM (#1247402)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: JohnInKansas

Louie -

I'd guess the Elkin area you were in was probably the one in Kentucky, although there's another in West Virginia, and even one in Texas. I can't say there's not one in Kansas, but my old CD map can't find one. If it's the Kentucky one, it's a good hard day's drive straight west (840 miles) to Winfield, Kansas. If it's the West Virginia one, add another 300 miles. Either place would be real Hill-Billy country.

Wichita, Kansas, where I live, is just about where the really flat part of Kansas starts - goes on west. East of there, we have some real hills - some 20 or 30 feet high even. (Or maybe I'm exaggerating.) Winfield is about 40 miles southeast from Wichita. Normal Winfield population is in the 20 - 30 thousand range, depending on whether you count the kids at the college. Normal attendance at the WVA festival is in the 20,000 range, and has hit about 26,000 a couple of times, so the festival is a little like a "spring break for old people." It does sort of overwhelm the town.

I go for the campground picking. It's been a few years since I bothered with the stage shows, although there are some really good ones. The last one (or two) I remember going to featured some guy called "Art Thieme." Sure wish he could come back; but we'll have to make do with a few CDs, I guess.


14 Aug 04 - 11:01 AM (#1247559)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: GUEST,Art Thieme


AS ALWAYS, I am certain this will be a grand time of wonderful music and comaraderie. I got on line this morning intent on going to a website where I might purchase a half dozen of the recent Winfield T-shirts, and found this thread here. Small world! Linn, be sure to give my best to Bobby Pangle Brian Bowers and Mike Cross and Bob Redford, the Carlsons and all my buds from the dozen years I played there. Always wonderful memories!!

Have a great festival. I know you will !!! As always these days, I wish I was there with you.

Art Thieme

14 Aug 04 - 09:43 PM (#1247824)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: JohnInKansas

Art -

I don't have to say you're missed at WVA. We're trying to learn some of your songs, but we usually end up laughing before we can finish one. (Everybody remembers the punch lines – it's the rest of them that our guys can't get right.)

I don't know whether the WVA office sells the past year T-shirts, although I know a couple of the office staff had some of the new "Volunteer" shirts on about a week ago when we were down. A link to their web site is in the first post, but given it's rather amateur format it's kind of hard to find the real useful stuff there. The vendors that they hire to sell shirts at the festival often have a few from prior years, depending on whether they've changed vendors again, but I don't have any I.D. info on the recent vendors. The WVA office might be able to steer you to one of them.

Since they're a commercial enterprise, I'm sure WVA won't mind having their phone number posted (it is on their website):

Walnut Valley Association,
PO Box 245,
Winfield KS 67156.

(They used to open a "Wichita" line, around festival time at 316-221-3250, but it wasn't up the last time we tried.) I'd think they should have an "800" number, but we're local enough not to have needed it, so I haven't researched the problem.


14 Aug 04 - 10:48 PM (#1247832)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Sorcha

I guess I could ask Aunt Pauline...she works (or worked, maybe retired) for Bob. I think I have her e mail...

16 Aug 04 - 04:02 AM (#1248487)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: JohnInKansas

One more refresh, just to catch those who only read the cat on Monday morning at the office.

Pre-linup starting in about 3 days now. Just about time to cool down the reefer and put the first week's beer to bed for the trip down.


18 Aug 04 - 08:55 PM (#1250953)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: JohnInKansas

Okay, so I planned to go down today; but LiK got home from visiting relatives late yesterday, and just messed up my plans. Something about taking some beer out of the reefer so there'll be room for food?????

Roughly 2 weeks to Lineup, 3 weeks to Landrush when the party starts, 4 weeks to the "official" start of the Festival. Come any time.


27 Aug 04 - 01:37 AM (#1257886)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Lin in Kansas

John's camping in the Walnut Grove until line-up, along with a half-dozen of our Winfield buddies. I'm going down to join them on the 1st and enjoy the pre-Festival picking and singing which looks to be great, as always.

Gary T., WyoWoman, Lynn--any other 'Catters gonna be there this year? Please come by the Watering Hole camp and help "rehabilitate" the Water Hole Gang--we need all the help we can get! (See our pictures and website linked in John's first post.

And my favorite thing to say this time of year:

See ya at Winfield!


27 Aug 04 - 01:26 PM (#1258322)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: GUEST,Barbara

Gary T. - will you be there this year? We will be at Camp Nowhere and hope to see you again for another walk-about! barbara & Al - 2 years ago, Winfield.

27 Aug 04 - 02:17 PM (#1258346)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Sorcha

WWWWWAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!! Whinge, whine, moan......

27 Aug 04 - 03:29 PM (#1258421)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: GUEST,Sharon G

Haven't been to Winfield for 5 or 6 years now, but it's sure fun. My band-mate Dave will be there holding down the tunes at Carp Camp in the heart of the Walnut Grove. It's not at good time for teachers....

27 Aug 04 - 07:22 PM (#1258539)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Lin in Kansas

Yep, we'll look for the Big Fish as always, and we usually climb the hill from the Pecan Grove to visit the Great Plains Dulcimer Alliance also. Hope to see you there!


01 Sep 04 - 08:36 PM (#1262126)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: wlisk

Trailer is packed and Deanna & I are heading to Winfield this Friday. We are playing for the Wichita contra dance on Saturday and will be at Winfield for the duration. Come by and pick some tunes! Bill Lisk

01 Sep 04 - 09:09 PM (#1262140)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Bee-dubya-ell

I was gonna apply to the arts & crafts fair (I'm a potter) this year, but had some vehicle dependability issues. We've since bought a newer van, but the application deadline had passed before we got it.

Ya'll have fun. Maybe we'll see ya next year.

07 Sep 04 - 12:21 PM (#1266040)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: GUEST,Gary T (need to replenish cookie)

This year I'll be going with my wife Karen and her mom Norma. We'll arrive on Sat. the 11th or Sun. the 12th. I suspect we'll camp along 14th St., between the "center oval" of the Pecan Grove and the re-entry gate, but it will largely depend on what sites are available when we get there. I haven't talked about it with those I've camped with before, so I don't know yet if they're going.

I'll look forward to seeing John, Lin, Bill, Deanna, Barbara, Al, and any others we run into. Barbara and Al, if you haven't left yet, when do you plan to arrive?

11 Sep 04 - 12:41 AM (#1269053)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: GUEST,barbara

Hey Gary (if you haven't already left): We'll probably be getting there on Sunday. Cyndi will be getting there on Saturday to nab the traditional Camp Nowhere location - so look us up! barbara and Al

22 Sep 04 - 10:22 PM (#1278786)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Lin in Kansas

Hey, y'all--

Back from Winfield; had a great time, as usual. Many blackmail-worthy pictures (Gary T., can I speak with you about your "costume" for the Rat Camp competition??? And BTW, congratulations on winning, and on getting to perform on Stage 5. Come by and sing us the first-place songs next year! And don't forget to wear that nose!

We were very proud of our camp this year. Our (operational) windmill attracted many campers with loose change to throw in the pond (thank you, thank you, the Waterhole Gang thanks all contributors for your generosity.) The Bath House was the scene of many cooling mistings for innocent young cowhands and cowgirls snagged by members of the Gang for brief but enthusiastic bathings. The Chuckwagon served many outstanding meals by Chef Chris, and not a bean among them...

Numerous persons commented pleasantly on the Bar Girl paintings and on the inventive place signs.

We sure had fun--lots of great jams and good campground music--and some darned good stage shows, too! Even the weather mostly cooperated; didn't hit 100 degrees once (96 yes, but not 100)!

Bill and Deanna, thanks for the great music while we all waited in line--good stuff.

Next year--see ya there...


24 Sep 04 - 06:19 AM (#1279758)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: JohnInKansas

Lin in Kansas has done the dastardly deed and posted some of our photos from this year at our camp's website. Those who may fear being compromised may wish to take a look before we start negotiating the blackmail photo commissions.

You may go directly to the first page of our Winfield 2004 pictures, or to the Waterhole Events page for selections from this and earlier years.

We have reduced the size of the images on the web site this year, due to the fairly large number being posted. Be assured that the originals are safely sequestered, and may show details not evident at the lower resolutions posted (especially after we complete our editing).


24 Sep 04 - 06:11 PM (#1280349)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Bill D

well, durn, make me jealous! One question...did you ever go AWAY from the camp to the stage shows? I know some don't.

I remember camping in 1970-71 when there was plenty of room...*grin*...I bought ticket #1100 or so the first year. This was before they realized they needed to fence off the grandstand area.

I'm gonna dig around and see if I can find my slides from that era....

24 Sep 04 - 07:14 PM (#1280379)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: Sorcha

Ya, too. I was there at the very first one (and the one the year before that called June Jamboree). EVERYTHING was OK to bring in....booze, weed, you name it. Talk about rowdy. Drunks and High Persons everywhere.....propped up against tires, trees, toilets....LOL. NO controls on camping, motorhomes, vendors, anything.

Way different now. I just hope that when Redford retires or dies or what ever the festival keeps up. It's a good un.

25 Sep 04 - 02:25 AM (#1280574)
Subject: RE: Winfield (WVA) Festival 2004
From: JohnInKansas

Bill D -

You mean they have stage shows there????? ..... Maybe I should look into that.

My own observation is that few of the people who camp in the "traditional" camping areas try to go to more than a couple of stage shows, and then only if a real favorite performer is on. The music in the camps is more than sufficient, and a lot of people would rather play than just listen.

Those in the recently added "overflow camping" areas probably are more likely to spend a significant amount of time at the stages, and of course about half the admissions are "day trippers" who probably come mostly for the stage shows.

What was commonly called the "RV Park," now called the "West Campground" by the management and the "Walnut Grove" by most of the campers, is a Winfield City Park, with RV hookups (electrical) for about 600 - 700 campers, and a water tap for about each dozen electrical outlets. Prior to about 1988 or so, RVs were seldom seen outside this camp. During recent festivals, they probably squeeze around 1,000 (+/- a couple hundred) camping permits out of this area.

The "South Campground," commonly called the "Pecan Grove," is normally a "day park," with no overnight camping permitted. During the festival, around 800 - 1000 "camping units" squeeze into the interior oval there, and share about 120(?) electrical outlets and FOUR water faucets. Another 1,000(?) or so camp outside the "main oval" in the Pecan Grove, where there are about 24 electrical outlets and NO WATER. Prior to about 1985 or so, you seldom saw an RV in the Pecan Grove, but recently about 50% of the "camp units" are RVs, from pop-ups to massive 3-slide units.

Both of the above areas do have some shade from trees.

In recent years, they've put "overflow campers" in the open field behind the main stage, where there is NO SHADE, NO ELECTRICITY, NO WATER, and NO OPEN FIRES PERMITTED. A wild guess would put recent camper count at about 800 units there.

A semi-official report was that the festival sold about 4,200 camping permits in 2003. Ticket sales are not generally revealed, but recent attendance has probably varied from 18,000 to as much as 24,000 "bodies with tickets."

Sorcha - If/when Mr Redford stops participating, the consensus in the lineup was that it will probably take people several years to get out of the habit of coming down in September. It's almost like the ducks going south for many or the old regulars.