Organizers of the Walnut Valley Festival have announced that they are proceeding with plans to host the 49th annual gathering of acoustic music lovers from around the world in September. Staff at Walnut Valley Association say they are closely following the situation with regard to COVID-19, and the concerns that festival attendees may have at the prospect of attending a large public gathering. Their thoughts are also with fellow festival organizers, music venues and musicians, many of whom are seeing their livelihoods threatened because of the cancellations required for social distancing. The group says they will continue to monitor the situation and follow all recommendations from public health officials. The health and safety of festival-goers, musicians, vendors and staff will remain the main concern, and is their highest priority. They say they believe people will get through this and a new normal will emerge in which it makes sense to hold a music festival. Their hope is that, much like what happened in 2001 when the festival took place immediately following the September 11th attacks, Winfield may be a place where people come together to recover and regroup, bound by music and fellowship.