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).
The 2022 Folk Alliance International Conference will be a hybrid event, with the in-person portion being held at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, on May 18-22, 2022.
Our 2022 conference theme is Living Traditions and will showcase various traditional folk music forms regionally, nationally, and internationally. The theme will be explored through topics of music preservation, migration, evolution, and authenticity, while the Global Summit will highlight the work of folklorists.
2021 marked the bicentennial of the State of Missouri and through the conference theme, the history and traditions of the state will be celebrated.
The hand-stitched artwork for the 2022 conference is a nod to traditional folk art, the history of reference to birds in traditional songs, the concept of musical migration, and is a depiction of the Missouri State bird as it relates to the bicentennial.
2022: May 18-22, 2022, Kansas City, MO, USA (hybrid event)
2023: February 1-5, Kansas City, MO, USA
2024: February 21-25, Kansas City, MO, USA
What happens at the conference?
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.
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 open in the fall.
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.