July 30, 2018. Winfield, KS. This year marks the 28th time the Walnut Valley Festival and Andy May's Acoustic Kids Showcases have given the region's young musicians the opportunity to perform on the festival stage. This non-competitive, welcoming program supports young musicians and singers of any skill level, beginner through pro, and gives them the experience of entertaining in a real-world venue with an engaged audience and a professional sound crew. Andy, as MC, draws on his lifetime of experience as a performer and his extensive background as an educator and mentor to set the youngsters at ease, keep things running smoothly, and make it a great experience for everyone.
As a show, Acoustic Kids treats the audience to an Opry-style stream of entertainers. Many fans - as well as performers - return every year. "Together we have watched many a young musician grow from year to year as they pass through the program. You never know who you'll see for the first time in Acoustic Kids!" said May.
“Andy has a remarkable ability to make kids feel welcomed and valued as a person and [as] musical contributors. I’m so glad Acoustic Kids has stayed involved in the community, because not only does it give all these kids good memories, but as the kids grow up they’ll remember that their contribution is important.” – Sara Watkins, multi-year participant, with Nickel Creek, in Acoustic Kids™ at Winfield.
Acoustic Kids™ Showcases will be held on Stage 2 Friday and Saturday mornings, September 14 and 15, from 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Also included in this year’s schedule are Andy May's Acoustic Kids™ Ambassadors at Winfield. A spin-off of Acoustic Kids™ Showcases, the AK Ambassadors program gives young emerging artists a spotlight as they represent Acoustic Kids™ to a broader audience. This year the Walnut Valley Festival is giving these young professionals a spot on Stage 4 at 12:30 p.m. Friday, September 14 immediately prior to the National Mandolin Championship. They will leave you no room for doubt that, “The music is in good hands!”
To apply to perform in Acoustic Kids™ - Walnut Valley Festival - 2018:
- Featured performers must be 16 or younger, but accompanists/band-mates may be any age, and many family bands participate.
- You must apply ahead-of-time. We accept applications online from July 1st through August 15, 2018. Late registrations will be accepted as long as there is room in the showcases, but late registrations will not be eligible for Ambassadors.