Learn about our community-oriented programming

FAI produces a wide range of programs that serve the various members of our community, including artists, event producers, radio DJs, managers, labels, and even fans!

While our largest program is the annual conference (typically held in February for five days), we’ve made it a goal to expand our offerings to serve the community year-round, with both virtual and in-person events.

Annual Conference

The Folk Alliance International Conference is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music community and industry. The annual February conference, first hosted in 1989, draws over 3,000 artists and industry (agents, managers, publishers, labels, festival/venue presenters, promoters, media) dedicated to folk music.

Conference programming includes panels and workshops, Official and Private Showcases, affinity groups, peer sessions, networking speed meetings, global summits, keynote speakers, an awards show, and more.

International Folk Music Awards

The International Folk Music Awards (IFMAs) are the premier recognition of folk music industry leaders, legends, unsung heroes, and rising talent.

Awards presented are the member-voted Best Of for Album, Song, and Artist of the year, Lifetime Achievement, Spirit of Folk, inductions into the Folk DJ Hall of Fame, and in a permanent commitment to honor the socially conscious roots of folk music, the People’s Voice and Clearwater Awards.

Past performers and presenters include Kris Kristofferson, Ruthie Foster, John Oates, Guy Davis, The Kingston Trio, Anais Mitchell, Megan Mullally, Bruce Cockburn, Eliza Gilkyson, and Leyla McCalla.

Changing the Tune

Changing the Tune is a new initiative to provide guidance and resources to the Folk Alliance International community in times of emergency. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, our first priority is to provide tools and best practices for adopting in-person precautionary measures, virtualizing events, and developing business continuity strategies tailored to your own audiences.

Ethno USA

JM International has partnered with Folk Alliance International to bring Ethno to the United States, together with local and national stakeholders. Ethno USA is set to take place in October 2021 in Asheville, NC with performances at the LEAF festival. This will be the first Ethno in North America!

Ethno is JM International’s program for folk, world and traditional music with a thirty-year history that began in Sweden in 1990. Present today in over thirty countries, Ethno engages young musicians ages 16-30 through a series of international music camps and activities. Ethno’s democratic peer-to-peer learning approach facilitates and promotes intercultural dialogue in the spirit of generosity, respect and openness.