Conference

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).

In 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our in-person conference was canceled, and the Folk Unlocked Virtual Conference was held in its place.

Plans are currently being made for the 2022 conference, which will be a hybrid (virtual and in-person) event, so stay tuned for updates on that by following us on Facebook or Instagram and subscribing to our email list! In the meantime, you can learn more about what happens at the conference below or on our conference site from 2020.

Future Conferences

2022: February 23-27, Kansas City, MO, USA (hybrid event)
2023: February 1-5, Kansas City, MO, USA
2024: February 21-25, Kansas City, MO, USA

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

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.

Applications for artists to apply for Official Showcases typically open in May.

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.