Anniversaries, Art and other stuff…

Over the years friends of Stage 5 have bestowed upon us some beautiful items.  We are so extremely humbled that so many folks care so much about Stage 5.  We would like to share photographs of some of these items here with you plus we have a lot of fun with our logos and slogans .. you will fine some of the “swag” from over the years here too.


A sample of buttons made by Jana Dale for the Stage 5 Crew. Jana has blessed us with lots of buttons over the years.


Memorial buttons by Jana Dale honoring our friends and crew members                         Art Charlet & Bob Dorman


These buttons are a sample of the crew pick buttons made by Maryann Lippincott. Maryanne has made lots of these buttons for our crew for many years.


In 2016 we lost our friend and crew member Bob Dorman to cancer. This tribute was painted by Jette Summers and given to the Stage 5 camp at the 2016 festival.

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Coozies – the blue one is an Art Farm design (the festival t-shirt company) from 2013. The Pink & orange (there was also green) were either 2012 or 2013.


Reservation cards .. very useful on sign-up day. 2012

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What motel would be complete with out these two items … matches and soaps. Both of these items appeared in 2011 on our 25th year celebration. Dulcie & Kirby Guinty did the matches and Bill Hoy did the soap.

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When our Stillwater Camp friends have an anniversary we like to return the favor. We surprised them on their 40th year with these shot glasses.


Stage 5 Motel … more than just a one mic stand. An instrument case sticker that made an appearance in 2015.


Our friends from the Stillwater Camp always come up with great ideas (and room service) to help us celebrate. Stillwater Camp Room Service surprised us everyday .. everything from wine to soap to custom embroidered towels. Thanks Stillwater Camp .. you rock!!!


A new instrument case sticker made an appearance for 2016


For our 30th year (2016) we also made reversible door hangers for your camper door.


Greeting from the Pecan Grove .. yes,we made post cards for our 30th year (2016) with a picture of the Stage 5 Motel and a brief history on the stage on the back … just write your note, address it, affix a stamp and send it to your friends back home.


This quilted banner was hand made by our great friend Kathy Reed of Tenderfoot Art.  We received it in 2011.


This is the new guitar case sticker for 2013, sporting the Stage 5 Motel logo.  For those that don’t know the players on the logo are: Guitar – Craig Barber and Fiddle – Jordan Chavez (Daughter of crew members Kenny & Christy Chavez)

This is the [2001] 15th Anniversary Patch designed & produced by crew members Kirby & Dulcie Guinty.

This [2009] guitar case sticker was designed by Stage 5 crew members Craig Barber & Bill Hoy.

This [1990] photograph was taken by Walnut Valley Staff Photographer Rex Flottman.  It was given to us with the stipulation that it remain in the window of Walnut Valley Festival Headquarters for 1 year.

A custom made brick given to us from .. we wish we could remember from who and when. Well the mystery has been solved .. It came from Jana Dale. But neither of us can remember what year .. maybe 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001ish. Anyway we love it and it sits on a shelf in our living room. (The update happened Aug 24th 2017.) Thank you Jana!!!  As a side note Jana has made lots of buttons for the Stage 5 crew over the years.

A one of a kind custom made platter presented to us from the Bunker Hill Band in the Pecan Grove on our 20th year [2006].


Cups for the crew on our 25th year from the Stillwater Camp special made by Elk Falls Pottery.

This was the 2006 Walnut Valley Festival mug thrown by Elk Falls Pottery.

Here are two more items from the Elk Falls Pottery 2006 Walnut Valley Festival collection.

Another one of a kind, this one from the Elk Falls Pottery, this is a 1 gallon mug the was purchased and given to us by the Stillwater Camp.  This item was a silent bid item so every time I walked by the booth I would re-bid, until one time I was told to stop bidding because I was running up the bid to high … but I wanted it.  This has a treasured place in our home and the Stillwater Camp folks have be so gracious to us over the 25 years of Stage 5.  We are proud to call them friends!!  This was gifted to us by our friends at the Stillwater Camp.  It was a silent auction item … I would bid … Stillwater Camp would bid, I would bid, Stillwater Camp would bid … I went to bid again and the potter Steve Fry told me that “I have it on good authority that you are to stop bidding.”  THANKS STILLWATER CAMP!!!

Yet another one of a kind .. this [2011] stained glass window of the Stage 5 pick logo was a gift from the Folk Holler Band.  In one configuration or another the Folk Holler folks have been friends of Stage 5 from its inception and have spent many hours over the years playing music at Stage 5.  We love you guys and girls!!!

This is another Elk Falls Pottery item, a [2011] Christmas ornament that was commissioned by Russell & Sherry Brace for Stage 5 crew members.

A Stillwater Camp original.  The letters of this banner are made of the purple socks that Crown Royal Whiskey comes in … that’s a lotta drinking mister … but that’s how they roll at Stillwater Camp!!  We received this at our 15th Anniversary party in the Pecan Grove.

This watercolor was painted by Ron McGuinty Brother of crew member Kirby Guinty.  It is of the Stage 5 Gypsy Wagon theme that made it debut in 2006.  The performer on stage is Nikki Moddelmog, if you look closely under the green canopy at the picnic table is crew member Art Charlet.

This clock was built and given to us by the Walnut Valley Voice editor Larry Junker in 2003.  It is constructed on a banjo resonator that he got as the craft show people were breaking down and one of the banjo dealers didn’t want to take it home …what a deal!! It also contains the first 14 Stage 5 picks. Larry is the guy that makes sure the Stage 5 Schedule is printed in “Voice” everyday of the festival … be sure to tell him thanks!!!

In 1999, Ron Chandler painted this image of Stage 5.  Notice that the steps are still on the front of the stage.  The band playing on the stage is The Zen Okies with guest Randy Crouch [center] on fiddle.

Stage 5 Picks Through The Years

From the 2nd year of Stage 5 we have handed out guitar picks to players and fans of Stage 5.  We estimate in the 31 years we have been doing this we have given away some where around 40,000 picks.  Each year has a different style, look and color.  There have been special edition picks for the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th & 30th years of Stage 5.


To help you identify your pick collection here is a list of year, color and text for all of the Stage 5:

1987 – 1st year – no pick

1988 – Black, “Stage 5” in Gold

1989 – Black, “Stage 5” in Silver

1990 – Yellow, “Stage 5” in Black

1991 – Fluorescent Green, “5th AnniversaryStage 5”, “20th Anniversary WVA” in Black

1992 – Red, “Stage 5 – Sept. ’92” in Gold

1993 – Transparent Blue, “Stage 5/Sept 1993” in Gold

1994 – Pink, “Stage 5/Sept. 1994” in Black

1995 – Light Blue, Stage 5/Sept. 1995 in Black

1996 – Tortoise Shell, “10th Anniversary Stage 5” in Hologram

1997 – White, “Stage 5/Sept.1997″ in Black

1998 – Purple [heart shape], ‘Stage 5/Sept 1998” in Black

1999 – Red, “Stage 5/Sept. 99” in Black

2000 – Transparent Blue, “ Sept.2000” in white

2001 – Pearl Blue, “ 5/15 Years/2001” in gold

2002 – Green, “” in Gold

2003 – Purple “ 2003” in Gold

2004 – Orange, “Stage 5/2004” in White

2005 – White, “Stage 5/2005” in Red

2006 – Pearl Red, “Stage 5/20 Years/2006” in Gold

2007 – Black, “Stage 5/Sept/2007” in Gold

2008 – Transparent Red, “Stage 5/Pecan Grove/USA/2008” in Gold

2009 – Bright Yellow, “Stage 5/Pecan Grove/USA 67156/2009” in Black

2010 – Pink, “Get Yer Grove On/Stage 5/2010” in Black

2011 – Pearl Blue, “Stage 5 Motel” logo/25 Years” in Silver

2012 – Orange, “Stage 5 Motel” logo in Black

2013 – Black, “Stage 5 Motel Logo in Gold

2014 – White,”Stage 5 Motel” logo in Red

2015 – Light Blue “Stage 5 Motel” logo in Black

2016 – Pearl Green “Stage 5 Motel” logo in Gold

2017 – Tan “Stage 5 Motel” logo in Brown

2018 – Copper “Stage 5 Motel” logo in White

2019 – Silver “Stage 5 Motel” logo in Black


SO MUCH MORE … than a one mic stand

For the first 3 years the sound at Stage 5 was purely acoustic, then we experimented with a unit made and named by Bob Ennis & Steve Keen, the Oklahoma contingent of the Stage 5 crew.  The unit was called the A.I.M. (Acoustic Instrument Megaphone) it was a dual cone looking affair that mounted to a mic stand and the players would step into the A.I.M. for lead rides.  It worked amazingly well but was not liked to well by the players.

So the next year a deal was struck with the Walnut Valley Festival and an electrical box was dropped into the Pecan Grove for the very first time (it was attached to the big pecan tree that is located directly north of the stages current location).  That year we brought a 4 channel Peavey board and suspended four dynamic mics from the ceiling of the stage and stashed two Peavey speakers under the bed of the truck.  This was a good idea .. but did not work very well.

The very next year Bob Dorman brought out his rig and we started mixing vocals, instruments, monitors … everything.  There were stacks of speakers on either side of the stage, monitors for the band and an amp rack backstage that would make Ted Nugent drool.  There was no problem hearing for the next two or three years .. they even said it sounded pretty good in downtown Winfield.  Then we had a 24 channel console in a “sound trailer” out in front of the stage and more speakers, even two-way communication between the stage and the “sound trailer”.  Then we decided to run the stage 24 hours a day for 3 days straight.  We would set up a new band every 30 minutes, so we would go from a solo fingerpick guitar player to a full blown bluegrass band with five instruments and four vocals.  Well, as you can imagine by the final Sunday of the festival our crew hated each other due to lack of sleep and deafness.   Not to mention that Sherry finally said “ENOUGH!!! TURN IT DOWN!!!!!” (I’m sure that our neighbors were happy for that too.)

So we spent the next year trying to figure out what we going to do about sound for Stage 5. It just so happened that we started to notice that a lot of bluegrass bands were going back to the one mic set up for performances … so we decided to try to “hot mic” the stage and surround the audience with small speakers.  EUREKA!!!!!  this was working!!!  (so good in fact that we still use this approach today) The microphone set up is two Audio Technica AT-4033’s on stands at the front of the stage, one Audio Technica AT-4033 suspended from the ceiling to pick up the back 1/2 of the stage and a bass amp for electric basses, no monitors.  We use a small Yamaha 8 channel powered mixer and an additional amp to power the back set of speakers.  We have three sets of JBL speakers, one up front directed out at the audience, one set 1/2 way back and pointing into the audience area from the side, and a final set at the back of the audience pointing toward the stage.  We do not use any special outboard equipment or delays.  This set up works great, the larger the crowd gets the more speakers we turn on.  We use the EQ that is built into the mixer for all of the Equalization.

The additional beauty of this set up is that as soon as one act is finished with their set the next act takes the stage and with minimal or no sound set up they are playing.  So there are no long breaks for set up between bands.  Plus we don’t need a sound tech and a  stage tech, just someone to let the band on stage know they have time for one more song then get the next band started.

There is “harmony” once again in our camp … ahhhhhhhh … 🙂