Battle of the bands returns for the virtual 2020 Walnut Valley Festival

The Walnut Valley Association has announced the return of the Battle of the Bands for their first virtual Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, which they are calling WVF 48.5. This year should have been the 49th annual festival and National Flat-Picking Championship, but since it will be all virtual and online-only for 2020, they are giving this festival the .5 designation.

To participate, bands will need to register on the Walnut Valley site, and submit a YouTube link of themselves playing three songs live. Given the constraints in some areas regarding group meetings, melded videos using apps like Acapella are allowed. Contestants will have their videos posted on the WVF web site, along with a donate link for each band, and visitors will vote for their favorite groups online.

The winning band will be invited to perform on stage at the official 49th annual Walnut Festival in 2021. Full rules and regulations can be found on the web site.

Registration is open to any performing act that has never been part of the official lineup at Winfield. This is a terrific opportunity for bands for whom travel to Kansas would be difficult, especially groups from outside the US. All submissions must be received by midnight on September 11. Entries will be posted in the order they are received, so the sooner you get yours in, the closer to the top of the page it will be displayed!

WVF 48.5 will run online from September 12-20. The Battle of the Bands winner will be announced on Sunday the 19th. Voting will continue through September 18.

Though the prestigious instrument contests typically held during the Walnut Valley Festival won’t take place this year, the week-long virtual festival will offer instrument workshops, video of winners concerts from over the years, a new song showcase, and a number of new video performances produced especially for the online event.

More details about these offerings will be posted soon on the WVF web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.