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Walnut Valley Festival Preparations Continue


Winfield, Kansas ˗ Organizers of the Walnut Valley Festival are proceeding with plans to host the 49th annual gathering of acoustic music lovers from around the world in September. Staff at Walnut Valley Association (WVA), which manages the festival known to many simply as Winfield, are closely following the situation with regard to COVID-19, and the concerns that festival attendees may have at the prospect of attending a large public gathering.

WVA Executive Director Bart Redford:  The crisis stemming from the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has been experienced by everyone, and in so many different ways. We think first of those who have contracted this virus, and wish them and their family members a speedy recovery. But our thoughts are also with fellow festival organizers, music venues and musicians, many of whom are seeing their livelihoods threatened because of the cancellations required for social distancing. We will continue to monitor the situation and follow the recommendations of the CDC, WHO and local public health officials. The health and safety of our festival-goers, musicians, vendors and staff is our highest priority.

WVA Media Director Rex Flottman: We have been contacted by several concerned festival-goers, asking whether we intend to have a festival this year. I think people will understand that we must proceed on the hope that we will get through this and a new normal will emerge in which it makes sense for us to hold a music festival. Our hope is that, much like what happened in 2001 when our festival took place immediately following the September 11 attacks, Winfield may be a place where people come together to recover and regroup, bound by music and fellowship.