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Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS

The Walnut Valley Festival (referred to simply as “Winfield” by long time festival-goers) is an annual acoustic festival held in Winfield, KS, the third full weekend in September. The festival takes place over a five-day period and is a great, family-friendly event.

For 2024, the Walnut Valley Festival will host the National Flat-Picking Championships from September 18  – 22.

This has been an annual event for well over 50 years. While the Walnut Valley Festival is known as a “bluegrass” festival, it has evolved into much more over the years. “It now is a blend of all kinds of acoustic music: bluegrass, folk, Americana, old-time country, a little bit cowboy, Celtic, blues, jazz, swing and more. And the bluegrass is both traditional and progressive,” say the organizers.

Walnut Valley Music Fest

For many, the festival isn’t just about the music. It’s so much more.  It is a place to collaborate with other musicians, a place to reunite with friends and family, and even a place to get married! (There have been many weddings at the festival over the years.)

Many festival-goers bring their own instruments too and play into the wee hours of the night in the campgrounds. There is even a makeshift stage in the campgrounds that is lovingly called “the 5th stage.”

The Music at the Annual Walnut Valley Festival 

At the Winfield music festival, there is family-friendly entertainment on four stages simultaneously throughout the day. You can see over 30 performers that will provide 200+ hours of music over four days. This festival brings together nationally and internationally recognized performers. The sounds of banjos, hammer dulcimers, mandolins, fiddles and more fills the air throughout the festival grounds.

Different contests occur at the festival. These contests are a big part of the Walnut Valley Festival, attracting competitors from all 50 states and international performers.

  • Finger Style Guitar
  • Flat Pick Guitar
  • Bluegrass Banjo, Old Time Fiddle
  • Mandolin
  • Mountain Dulcimer
  • Hammer Dulcimer
  • Autoharp

Walnut Arts and Crafts, Food, and More

With the wide variety of music, there are also plenty of delicious food vendors to nourish you. There are also more than 100 booths of drawings, paintings, jewelry, woodcrafts, glass, metalwork, baskets, pottery, weaving/spinning, leather, herbals and soaps, and children’s items.  Artists, crafters, and luthiers (makers of stringed instruments) come to Walnut Valley from more than 20 states to sell their wares.

My family has attended the festival many times over the years. In fact, my parents’ honeymoon was at the festival! As children, my brothers helped make ropes and my sister and I proudly wore garlands of ribbons and flowers on our heads. We also made ribbon wands. My parents have purchased handmade belt buckles, earrings, camp chairs and more over the years.

Walnut Vally Festival Dates

The Walnut Valley Festival is traditionally held the third full weekend in September. For those who are camping, check out the information on the Land Rush and how to navigate the camping process. Some festival-goers line up weeks in advance to get their favorite camping spot.

Music Festival Tickets 2024 

Pro Tip: If you purchase your ticket in advance, you can Save!

Prices Vary:

  • The cheapest ticket you can get is if you purchase in advance and get a one-day pass for $80.
  • You can get the full festival for $125, which is a great deal.
  • Kids tickets for ages 11 – 15 are $50, and Kids 6 – 10 are $10.
  • Check the Walnut Valley Music Festival ticket prices.
Walnut Valley Festival, September in Winfield KS
Photo courtesy of the Walnut Valley Festival

Nearby drives:

Cowley County Fishing Lake and Waterfalls

Dexter: Henry’s Candy Company

What to Bring

The Walnut Valley Festival is a relaxing, fun atmosphere. There is so much to see and do.  Don’t forget to bring your lawn chairs, blankets, sunscreen, bug spray, hats and any other creature comforts that you might need for a day of outdoor fun. Only one of the stages is a grandstand with bench seats. The other stages are on grassy areas that require you to bring your own seating. For more information on what is and is not allowed at the festival, visit the WVF Festival Rules web page.

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