More Than Just A One Mic Stand.





Welcome to Stage 5 … it truly is “More than just a one mic stand.” Born in the Pecan Grove of the Cowley County, Kansas Fairgrounds in September of 1987. Hosting acoustic music enthusiasts from beginners to professionals .. with an emphasis on amateur acoustic musicians .. who otherwise would not get an opportunity to play on a stage at the prestigious Walnut Valley Festival and the National Flat-picking Championships. A hip little campground stage built on the bed of a 1954 4100 Chevrolet 1 1/2 ton flatbed truck.


There are two ways to get signed up. The traditional sign-up day and Stage 5 Picks.

Let’s begin with the traditional sign-up. On the Wednesday before the festival begins each act sends a representative to draw a number. Once that is done the Stage 5 crew draws a number from a hopper and when the matching number is called that lucky person comes forward and signs up for their selected day and time. When the schedule is full we revert to the standby list and all additional acts are placed on that list. Stage 5 Picks is a process where the crew selects acts for selected time slots (generally, but not limited to Saturday evening/night). Here is how this happens .. if we hear your act during the year we will offer you a time slot in the Stage 5 Picks, or you can send a link to your music to and we will listen to it and get back with you. If you are selected we will get with you to work out the details of the actual time and day. If you are not selected you may still sign up in the traditional sign-up.

All daily schedules will be posted here after sign-up day.

2023 Stage 5 Schedule


I love this photo for so many reasons .. aside from the fact of how cute this little music lover is. I do not know her name, her daddy was playing on stage with the Fast Food Junkies (Saturday afternoon 2021). She danced and twirled and sang to all the songs. She held the flowers for the whole set (they were remnants from a proposal the night before) She helped me put the WVA 2022 50th year sticker on the Stage 5 sign. The Stage V sign is the original stage sign (36 years old now + one for 2020) and so to me this little girl represents the future of acoustic music, and it makes me think that the future of acoustic music is very bright. I hope her enthusiasm for this kind of music is as contagious as the pandemic that we have endured.       Russell Brace – Owner – Stage 5 – 2021. (updated 2023)


Here we go again … it’s September in Kansas and all roads lead to the Cowley County Fairgrounds in Winfield, Kansas for the Walnut Valley Festival and the National Flat-Picking Championships. It happens the 3rd full weekend on September every year.

An event like no other .. so much music happens here in a two week time frame that it would take the whole next year to listen to it all .. and of course ..make plans to do it all again … next year.

Musicians and artisans from the world over, gather in this little Kansas community under the shade of the pecan, walnut, and oaks .. to simply make music. And make music they do .. 24 hours a day from around campfires and motorhomes and tents and canopies, out on the road, rain or shine, on a stage or in a secret little cove along the Walnut River, sharing music and the love of it with 10,000 of the greatest neighbors you will ever have.

So … Yeah … Here we go again … and I wouldn’t have it any other way … I CAN’T … I’M GOING TO WINFIELD!!!

Also visit Stage 5 on Facebook.