Folk Unlocked: Connection, Discovery, Inspiration

February 22-26, 2021

In place of an in-person conference this year, FAI is hosting Folk Unlocked, a five-day virtual event for the entire international folk community to come together for panels, workshops, showcases, affinity and peer group meetings, exhibit spaces, networking, and mentorship. We are unlocking the doors and windows of the house of folk to be as broad and inclusive as possible, inviting those who have been loyally attending Folk Alliance International conferences for years while aiming to reach folk musicians and professionals who have never benefited from or attended FAI before.


This is a year for innovation and creativity, and we will host a space for community building and career development for everyone from the comfort and safety of their own home. We hope to push the boundaries of what our community can achieve with technology, and though this means not every aspect of our typical annual conference will be able to exist in this format, we’re excited for this opportunity to initiate a new way of connection.


Programming will be interactive, whether live-streamed or pre-recorded, and recordings will be available for later viewing, allowing folks from around the globe to tune in when they can.


More programming details will be coming soon! To make sure you receive any updates about Folk Unlocked, please sign up for our conference email list. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at or 816-221-3655.

Public showcase access is available to non-industry folks who’d like to see all of the performances happening during Folk Unlocked! Access is a suggested donation of $20.


In order for Folk Unlocked to be an event accessible to all, we’ve built a pay-what-you’re-able pricing structure. All registration prices provide the same level of access. Registration is valued at $150, and we created three other registration tiers: $75, $25, and $0.


Please register at the level that you are able to contribute. If you can register at the full price, your registration will help offset the cost to help folks attend who would not have been able to. This has been a difficult year for everyone in our community, and we want to make sure that all who want to attend can attend.

Discounts for 2022 Conference

We are providing discounts to our 2022 conference for those who register to Folk Unlocked. The discount code must be used during the Early Bird registration period for the 2022 conference.


Early Bird: 100% of Folk Unlocked registration price applied to 2022 conference registration if you register for Folk Unlocked from October 22, 2020, to 5pm CT on December 31, 2020.
Advanced: 50% of Folk Unlocked registration price applied to 2022 conference registration if you register for Folk Unlocked from December 31, 2020, to January 22, 2021.
Final: No discount on 2022 conference registration if you register for Folk Unlocked after January 22, 2021.


 An essential part of every FAI conference is the after-hours Private Showcase scene, a festive, community-built offering of hundreds of mini-concerts presented simultaneously.


We are delighted to announce that this year, FAI will recreate (albeit virtually) this inspiring model, providing a meeting place to reconnect, discover new music, and build community among folk musicians, industry, and fans alike through the magic of Unlocked Showcases.


Learn more about our Unlocked Showcases here.


Interested in becoming a sponsor for Folk Unlocked? Sponsorship packages are designed to promote to the folk music community and industry through advertising, video content, virtual exhibiting, and showcases. Learn more about sponsorship here.


We love our volunteers! This year, we’re looking for volunteers skilled in the following areas: hosting/facilitating online meetings, troubleshooting online meeting issues, working with spreadsheets, and database technologies to assist staff. If you’re interested, please fill out this form. We appreciate you!

Attendee Lists

A benefit exclusive to FAI membership is access to an Excel document of the most recent attendee list with email information for use in year-round professional communication, and pre/post conference business. Non-members can view the attendee list without email addresses.


The list is not to be used in any way to send bulk messages or copied showcase announcements. It is to be used for direct one-to-one communication and invitations.

Please be mindful of your target audience when contacting other attendees. Email is a powerful tool to increase your visibility and connect with other attendees before and after Folk Unlocked, but sending too many unfocused emails may reflect poorly on you. Please respect the inboxes of all delegates, the criteria by which this information is made available, and the cooperative nature of membership.


Learn more about best practices for email marketing by reading the CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business.