Folk Alliance International Conference

Julia Othmer performing an Official Showcase at the 2022 Folk Alliance International Conference - photo by Scott Rohr

The World’s Largest Gathering of the Folk Music Industry and Community

The Folk Alliance International Conference, presented by Folk Alliance International, is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community (crossing a diverse array of genres including Appalachian, Americana, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Global Roots, Hip-Hop, Old-Time, Singer-Songwriter, Spoken Word, Traditional, Zydeco, and various fusions).

Upcoming Conference

The next Folk Alliance International Conference is February 1-5, 2023, at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. Registration is now open!

The theme of the 2023 Folk Alliance International Conference is Facing the Future: Sustainability in Folk Music.

As we emerge from the survival mindset of the early 2020s, our attention turns to the horizon and the challenges — and opportunities — that lie ahead for our industry and community. Together we’ll explore the intersections of individual excellence and collective strength and work to understand what must be dismantled and what must be built.

In this context, we’ll address the sustainability of the folk genre, careers and businesses in the music industry, and the environment that supports us.

Future Conferences

2023: February 1-5, Kansas City, MO, USA
2024: February 21-25, Kansas City, MO, USA

View our past conferences here.

What happens at the conference?

Check out our program book from the 2022 conference to see what programs and events typically take place during our annual gathering!

Official and Private Showcases

During the conference, there are two types of showcases: Official and Private. Showcases are a way for artists to show off their talents to festival and venue bookers, agents, record labels, DJs, media, and more. While Official Showcases are exclusive to jury-selected musicians, anyone can perform a Private Showcase. Many artists book multiple Private Showcase slots, and we recommend all artists take advantage of the opportunity to perform in Private Showcases.

Official Showcases feature jury-selected, tour-ready musicians representing diverse cultures, languages, and sound. These 30-minute sets are performed on full production stages at the conference. 

Official Showcase applications are now open until July 18, 2022.

Private Showcases turn hotel rooms into listening rooms. These performances are more intimate, often without any amplification, and offer a unique opportunity for the artists.

Daytime Panels

At the conference, there are many panel sessions on relevant industry topics, featuring experts like agents, labels, festival presenters, artists, and more.

Some past panel topics include “The Recording Academy: What Can It Do For You?”, “Cultural Awareness, Addressing Racism and Being a Person in Process”, “Women in Music: A Continued Call for Change”, “Do I Need A Visa for This Gig?”, and many more.

Networking and Peer Gatherings

We offer various networking and mentoring opportunities, including Peer Sessions for agents, labels, festivals, and artists, speed meetings, artist mentorship meetings, and even Affinity Group sessions for communities like BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, Women, Folks 55+ Folks with Disabilities, and more.