Folk Alliance Region-West (FAR-West), Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) and Northeast Regional Folk Alliance (NERFA), regional affiliates of Folk Alliance International, are currently accepting applications for juried showcases during their respective annual conferences this fall. All showcase entries must be submitted online.
The regional events provide useful and enjoyable learning and networking opportunities, not to mention plenty of listening and performing opportunities for artists, presenters, agents and managers, DJs, and others engaged in the folk music field. Booking gigs is a primary objective of some performers who attend these annual conferences, while many presenters and folk DJs come primarily to scout out new artists and those who they have not previously heard and seen in live performance. However, along with other Folk Alliance International regional conferences, the FAR-West, FARM and NERFA conferences are much more than that – they are really about forging connections and building community.
FAR-West has set April 30 at 11:59 p.m. PDT as the submissions deadline for its 12 juried Official Showcases that are set to take place during the evenings of Friday, Oct 14 and Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, Washington, where its conference opens Oct. 13 with a Venues’ Choice Concert. Six artists will showcase their talents during 20-minute slots/sets each night.
Artists are required to submit links to videos of three song performances, along with a $25 fee. A two-tier rating system will be used to evaluate them on the basis of audience engagement, talent, musicianship, song-craft/song interpretation and other elements that make a showcase-worthy act. Finalists and alternates will be contacted on or about July 1.
Showcase applications, along with more information, guidelines and tips may be found online at www.far-west.org/showcase2016.html.
FARM has set May 31 at midnight CDT as its submissions deadline for 14 juried Official Showcases on Friday night, Oct. 28 and Saturday night, Oct. 29 at the Sheraton in Iowa City, Iowa, where its annual conference extends from Oct. 27-Oct. 30.
FARM requests that each artist submit two live video performance links, along with a $15 fee. Those artists selected to showcase will be notified on or about July 1 and will then pay an additional $20 showcase fee. Listening Room Network is administering the showcase application process for FARM, as it has for the past several years. Noting that the submissions need not be “produced,” the showcase application guidelines state: “In fact, the best submissions are a simple production of you in front of the camera, preferably in front of an audience.”
Artists are asked to submit videos that feature the same lineup as the intended showcase performance (i.e., if one intends to perform solo, s/he should not submit a performance video with a band or backup singers).” Artists who showcased at the 2014 or 2015 FARM Conferences are ineligible. Selected artists and all band members/backup musicians must be members of Folk Alliance International and be registered for the full conference.
More information and FARM online showcase applications may be found at www.farmfolk.org/farm-2016/.
NERFA, which draws the largest number of people to its conferences of any FAI region, is accepting applications for both its juried Formal and Tricentric Showcases that are slated for Friday and Saturday nights, Nov. 11 and 12, during its annual four-day conference at the Crowne Plaza in Stamford, Connecticut – a new location for the conference after many years in New York’s Catskill Mountains region.
NERFA has set the following submission deadlines: June 1 at 11:59 p.m. EST for its Formals, and July 7 at 11:59 p.m. for its Tricentrics. Application forms may be found on the right-hand side of its website (www.nerfa.org), along with rules, fees and more information.
The14 juried 15-minute Formal Showcases (seven each night) are the premier and most coveted showcase opportunities at the NERFA Conference. Immediately following the Formals, conference goers will shuffle between three rooms to enjoy juried 15-minute Tricentric Showcases – 15 of which will be scheduled each night. As with the Formals, nothing else is allowed to go on during the Tricentric Showcases. Professional sound, lighting and production services are provided for both of these official showcases, while the Fomals will also be mixed, recorded and have a CD produced by a professional sound engineer.
Those applying for Formal and Tricentric Showcases must submit three songs in MP3 format, along with a one-page bio and applicable fees ($25 and $45 for the Formals; $15 and $25 for the Tricentrics – with the higher fees assessed for non-FAI members).
Folk Alliance International (www.folk.org) — which hosts its annual conference, music camp and fair in February — is a Kansas City-based nonprofit organization that aims to nurture, engage and empower the international folk music community – traditional and contemporary, amateur and professional – through education, advocacy and performance.
Editor’s Note: I currently serve as vice president of the NERFA board of directors and am also an elected board member of Folk Alliance International.