Conference FAQs

Have questions about the upcoming conference?

If you have a question that isn’t covered here, feel free to email us at or call the office at 816-221-3655!


How do I register? What are the registration rates?

Learn more about how to register and the costs of registration here.

What is included in my registration?

For those registering for the in-person conference, your registration includes access to most conference events, including the International Folk Music Awards, daytime panels, Official Showcases, Private Showcases, and more. You also can access the conference through the virtual platform.

I only want to attend one day of the conference. Is this possible?

Day passes are available for industry attendees of the 2023 Conference at the Attendee Selections page during registration. Single Day and Two Day passes are options.

Is there funding available to help with registration or travel?

We offer scholarships for first-time artist and industry attendees that cover the cost of registration. Our Folk DJ Scholarship covers registration, hotel, and travel for one folk DJ who has less than eight years of broadcasting experience. Learn more about all of our scholarships here.

What is the cancelation policy?

We realize that every attendee’s situation is unique and in a state of constant change, not to mention the heavy hit that many in our community took during the pandemic. FAI’s goal is to provide flexibility and minimize risk for our attendees. As a result, we have implemented a new cancelation policy for this year. Read the full policy here

Can I transfer my registration if I can no longer attend?

There are no substitutions of participants allowed except in the case of company employees, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis by the FAI office.

What is the total cost to attend the conference?

Below is an estimation of total costs for one person to attend the conference, including registration, hotel, travel, and food. This is only an estimate to provide attendees a general idea of the financial investment of attending the conference. Many attendees choose to share rooms, find accommodations outside of the conference hotel, and carpool to cut costs. If you are a first-time attendee, we recommend checking out our resources for first-timers.

Total Cost to Attend the FAI Conference (based on member and advance rates)

FAI Membership (Individual) – $70

Registration – $350 industry/$200 artists

Hotel – $489 + tax (1 room/3 nights)

Meals – $180 ($60/day x 3 days)

Travel – $300

Return ground transport – $80

Promo materials – $85

Total estimated cost: $1,554 industry / $1404 artist

Ways to Reduce Costs

I'm a fan of folk music, can I still attend?

Every year we have folk music fans attend the conference, but we have placed limits on the number of attendees the last several years to ensure space for individuals who work in the field. Community members are welcome to apply to volunteer.

Where is the list attending Presenters?

The list is on the Attendee Lists page. You can also click here


Where is the conference located?

All conference events (with the exception of the closing party) are located at the Westin Crown Center and the Sheraton Crown Center hotels in Kansas City, MO. Learn more about the hotels here.

Is parking available at the hotel?

According to the hotel’s website, the daily rate is $22 USD for on-site parking and $28 USD for valet parking.

How do I get to the hotel from the airport?

The hotel does not provide shuttle service. A taxi or rideshare service is about $50 USD. Super Shuttle is about $18 for one way; reservation required. 


How do I perform at the conference?

Official Showcases and Private Showcases are the performance opportunities we offer at the conference. Learn more about ways to perform here. See the Official Showcase and Private Showcase FAQs for more details.

Offical Showcases

If I get an Official Showcase, do I have to pay to attend the conference?

Yes, all Official Showcase artists and their support team must pay to attend the conference. Artist are guaranteed a discounted conference registration rate regardless of Official Showcase award status. View the artists registration rates here.

Should I apply for an Official Showcase?

Official Showcases are intended for tour ready artists who are interested in showcasing music to our global community. They provide the opportunity to put artists in front of festival bookers, agents, venues, record labels, DJs, and more.

If I don't get an Official Showcase, will you refund my application fee?

No, Official Showcase application fees are non-refundable.

How long is an Official Showcase?

In-person Official Showcases are 30 minutes in length on a stage with full production. There is a 15-minute changeover between each artist.

Online Official Showcases are 20 minutes in length.

What is the cost of registration for a band with four or more people?

FAI caps registration to $700 for Official Showcase artists or on standby. Bands must be an FAI member to receive this rate. If you have four or more people in your band who will all be attending, please contact Folk Alliance International at to receive a code for your registration. DO NOT REGISTER UNTIL YOU GET YOUR CODE.

Will I be able to sound check?

Due to the large number of artists performing in such a compact time frame, we are unable to offer sound checks.

What is provided for backline?

Backline includes guitar and bass amps, drum kits* (just bring sticks/brushes), and keyboards*. Please make sure your application clearly states what you need for your showcase.

* Not all stages have drum kits and keyboards.

I can't travel with my upright bass - can I borrow one?

FAI does not have upright basses for artists to borrow. Please reach out to local vendors K.C. Strings to rent an instrument. 

Who do I contact to change my stage plot?

Contact our production team at Not all stage plot changes can be approved based on limitations of backline and systems.

Can I change my showcase time?

No. We are not able to change your showcase time or room due to the complexity of scheduling artists.

Can I perform in a Private Showcase if I'm selected as an Official Showcase artist?

Yes! In addition to your Official Showcase, artists are encouraged to perform Private Showcases on any of the four nights of the conference. Artists are limited to six Private Showcases. Click here for information on Private Showcases.

Can I perform in a public show in Kansas City if I'm selected as an Official Showcase artist?

Yes, but only on Tuesday and/or Sunday, or during the daytime hours of the conference. There is a Radius Clause that prohibits public concert participation by Official Showcase artists between the hours of 4pm-3am from February 1-5, 2023.

Can I sell my CDs or merch?

No, item sales are not allowed. FAI is a business networking conference – bring your latest CDs and share them freely with those you meet.

Private Showcases

Are posters allowed on the Private Showcase floors?

Only Private Showcase presenters are permitted to hang posters on the Private Showcase floors. The posters should be specific to their room (listing all artists, times, and room number). FAI will designate sections of the hallway where postering is not permitted for safety and way-finding signage.

Posters for individual artists and in non-designated areas of the Private Showcase floors will be removed. Painters tape is the only permitted way of hanging posters. All others will be removed. Damage resulting from the use of non-approved tape will be documented and billed to the room host.

If I'm performing in a Private Showcase, do I have to pay to attend the conference?

Yes, anyone wishing to play a Private Showcase (and their support team) must pay to attend the conference.

Artists receive a discounted registration rate.

Is there a limit to the number of Private Showcases I can perform?

Yes, artists are limited to six Private Showcases (in-person, online, or a combination).

Are there still guerrilla showcases at the conference?

Yes! Our Private Showcases were previously known as guerrilla showcases and are sometimes still referred to as guerrilla showcases at our regional conferences. At FAI’s annual conference, a Private Showcase refers to the intimate showcases located in hotel guest rooms from 10:30pm-3am.

Who can perform?

Any registered delegate of the conference can perform.

When do they happen?

Private Showcases can be scheduled anytime between 10:30 pm and 3 am CT Wednesday through Saturday evenings during conference week (February 1-5, 2023).

How do you watch online Private Showcases?

All registered conference attendees have access to watch the online Private Showcases at no additional cost using our conference platform.

Public tickets may be available for fans who are only interested in watching the showcase performances.

Where do they stream from?

Participants will stream from the streaming platform of their choice, with shows listed and searchable by profile/tags on the Folk Unlocked conference platform. Compatible platforms include: Haivision, IBM, Mediasite, Livestream, Qwikcast, Videopress, Vimeo / Vimeo Live, Wistia, Youtube / Youtube Live.

The streaming list does not include Zoom. Can I use Zoom?

You cannot use a direct link to Zoom; however, you can live stream Zoom to a compatible platform listed above. Zoom has instructional information on how to do this for YouTube.

Can I also livestream to my own fan base?

No. If there is public access, we will  encouraging artists to share public access. More details will be available at a later date.

What information will I need to provide FAI for an online Private Showcase, and when is it due?

Purchasing the listing is not open yet, but will be later this fall.

A form will be sent to everyone who purchased a listing in early January 2022. You must provide the following information:

  • Artist name
  • Date & time of performance
  • Description of show/Artist bio
  • Livestream link
  • Artist email addresses (the email address that the artist used to register for the Folk Unlocked virtual conference – this ties their virtual conference attendee profile to the listing)
  • Keywords (like genre)

Ideally the form is completed immediately so that FAI staff can start adding the showcases to the virtual conference platform, but it can be completed anytime in the month of January. The last day to purchase a listing is February 1, 2022. Those purchasing last minute will have a few days to complete their form. We will also allow for corrections to be made to the data until February 15, 2021.

Can I use pre-recorded content for online Private Showcases?

Yes, but the content must be a live recording intended for the conference. And due to licensing concerns, all pre-recorded content must be original songs or songs in the public domain. Performers who pre-record will need to get a sign-off from their label. FAI will require that all performers complete a form verifying compliance. See below for more information:


Pre-recorded Content vs Livestreamed Content

    • The intention of the online Private Showcases is for the artist to create a program that is specifically for the conference. Any previous recordings that were for a different audience or purpose are not appropriate for a Private Showcase.
    • Livestreamed content is preferred. Interaction is highly encouraged. The audience for the Private Showcases is diverse. Agents, managers, festival bookers, artistic directors, and fans alike all attend this event.
    • Stipulations: If for some reason you must pre-record your show, then you should plan to have representatives online in the chat during your showcase time who can converse with potential clients and fans. Even with pre-recorded content, all of your content should be programmed specifically for the conference.
    • Pre-recorded content must be provided via an external link to view. The compatible streaming platforms are Youtube, Facebook, Vimeo, Wistia, Videopress, Livestream, IBM, Twitch, DailyMotion, VidYard, and Soundcloud (audio files). We cannot accept file uploads for content.

Do you have any resources for how to set up our showcase?

Yes! We recorded an online tutorial with live questions for our event in 2021. We are using same platform. Here is the link to the resources mentioned during the tutorial.

Please note that YouTube restricts embedded videos. It’s unclear what the requirments are, but it appears that you must have 1,000 followers or an older account for the YouTube channel that you are using in order for it to embed on the conference platform. If embedding does not work, the conference attendee will still be able to click and watch on YouTube directly.


What will programming look like for the hybrid event?

FAI will have many pre-recorded panels that are presented live for both in-person and virtual attendees. Some of these panels will be followed up with live breakout sessions that meet seperately in-person and online. 

One room at the conference hotel will be dedicated to multi-camera live-streaming. The events out of this room include the Internaional Folk Music Awards on Wednesday night, keynote address, select panels, and the closing celebration session on Sunday morning. Virtual viewers can watch these live, but they will also be recorded for viewing at a later time.

Will there be programming that is only available in-person?

Yes. There are some panels that are only available for in-person attendees. A few of the in-person only panels may be recorded for viewing online later. 

Pre-conference events hosted on Wednesday are only available to folks attending in-person. Information about these events will be posted in November. 

Will there be programming that is only available virtually?

There will be some pre-conference activities that are online only and networking events during the conference week intended for virtual attendees only. 

Any pre-recorded panels will be presented live in a hotel panel room for in-person attendees. 


How do I reserve a booth in the exhibit hall?

We offer organization and artist pricing for booths as well as virtual booths. Learn more here.

How can my organization become a sponsor of the conference?

You can learn more about sponsorship opportunities here. Contact Alex Mallett, our Director of Development, for more details:

Can I advertise in the conference program book?

Yes. We offer full-page, half-page, and quarter-page program book ads. Artists receive a discount on their program book ads. Learn more here.

COVID-19 Protocols

Do I need to have a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend in-person?

Vaccines and boosters are strongly encouraged (this means that FAI will not check vaccination cards as we did for our May 2022 conference).

What vaccinations are acceptable?

FAI will accept any vaccination approved for emergency use by the attendee’s home country and/or by the World Health Organization (WHO). An updated WHO approved list is available on this page by clicking on “Status of COVID-19 Vaccines within WHO EUL/PQ evaluation process” button.

Click here for the list from April 2, 2022.

Will FAI make the decision to move the conference to online only?

The safety of our community is our biggest priority. FAI is willing to move the conference to online if necessary, but we are optomistic that we can safely gather together. 

In collaboration with safety experts, FAI is creating a decision matrix that will look at key items. For example, are there hospital beds in Kansas City if an attendee has a medical emergency. The assessment will be made in mid-December.