Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Winfield on the Air (Before the Flood)

This post was prepared before the quiet little Walnut decided to become the "wide Missouri" and send the land rushers rushing (O.K., some were definitely dawdling) off to friend's back yards, other local campgrounds, or any dry parking lot they could find. More on that later.

Front Porch Radio (http://www.frontporchradio.net/) has been active for several years as a way for folks to keep the spirit of Winfield alive in their kitchens, their bedrooms, and out in the garage while they're sharpening their tent stakes. No longer just a campground stage with broadcast capabilities, FPR has grown into a 24 hour internet stream of any and everything you might hear down on the Walnut River, anything from Patsy Montana to Split Lip Rayfield. Also, they've built up a video archive of many of the performers that have graced their little campground sound booth out in the wilds of the Walnut Grove.

In addition, they have been joined in these efforts this year by the Wichita State internet radio station, WSUiR. (http://wsuir.wichita.edu/index.html), The brain-child of John Harrison and Lauren Hirsh, WSUiR is a collaborative community and campus-based radio project. They have opened their studios and on-site equipment to anyone willing to make a programing proposal and go through their training necessary to make things work. Their plan is to set up a team of Winfield festival-goers to scout out and record actual campground music sessions, for streaming to the unfortunate souls strapped to their real lives somewhere beyond the Walnut Valley. The monstrously entertaining James Gates is scheduled to pull off a live feed of the James Gates Show, as well as five-minute spots at the top of each hour. They also plan to broadcast some "best of" Front Porch Radio recordings. The magazine, Naked City, is also one of the collaborators, although I'm not clear yet on their involvement.

Just like everyone else, I'm sure their plans will adapt to the weather and eventual festival decisions.


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