Performing at the Conference

Are you an artist wanting to play your music in front of the many industry reps at our annual conference? You’ve come to the right place!

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.

Allison Russell performing at the 2020 Folk Alliance International Conference

Official Showcases

Official Showcases feature 120 jury-selected, tour-ready musicians representing diverse cultures, languages, and sound. These 30-minute sets are performed on full production stages at the in person conference in addition to self-produced online showcases. In a commitment to more equitably represent the folk community, FAI has pledged to achieve a 50/50 gender balance in programming across all stages.

To play an Official Showcase, performers must apply before the deadline and await approval by a board of jurors. Official Showcases are not awarded more than two years in a row. FAI saw a record number of Official Showcase applicants for the 2019 conference; over 1,000 applications were submitted (a 30% increase from 2018).

Official Showcases at the 2022 Hybrid Conference

Official Showcases at the 2022 conference will be performed both online and in person at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO. Each in person Official Showcase will be recorded and available for viewing the next day on our online conference platform for virtual attendees.  The online Official Showcases will be catered towards those attending virtually and will premier on Thursday night. 

In the event FAI is required to cancel the in-person conference due to COVID-19, all Official Showcases will be presented as self-produced live-streamed or pre-recorded content online.

Private Showcases

Kaia Kater performing a Private Showcase at the 2020 Folk Alliance International Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana | Photo by Jake Jacobson

Private Showcases turn hotel rooms into listening rooms from 10:30 pm CT to 3 am CT on Wednesday – Saturday nights. These performances are more intimate, often without any amplification, and offer a unique opportunity for the artists. The rooms are very fluid, and some people cycle in and out of different performances. It is acceptable to stay for only a song or two, but please remember to be courteous to the performers!

Hosts are artists, record labels, publicists, agents, managers, state/provincial music offices, national export offices, collectives, and extraordinary fans of folk. Artists are encouraged to apply to perform in a Private Showcase by connecting with presenters.

Private Showcases at the 2022 Hybrid Conference

Private Showcases will take place in-person at the Westin Crown Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO. Hosts can choose to live stream their showcases through our online platform for virtual attendees if they wish. Masks are required during all Private Showcases except for artists when they are performing.

Virtual attendees will also be able to live stream Private Showcases. Details will be provided later this fall.

Lobby Jams

Lobby jams are one of the most notable things about our conference! Music happens in all corners of the conference, and lobby jams offer a chance for artists to collaborate, explore music, and connect in authentic ways. Feel free to find other folkies, pull out an instrument, and embrace the spirit of folk together.