Official Showcase Process

 Site updates for the 2019 conference in Montréal are underway. Some information may be outdated, check back soon for updates.

Susan Werner - photo by Jayne Toohey

The Selection Process

All applications are reviewed by an advisory panel of presenters and industry experts specific to the United States, Canadian, and International markets. There are 15 anonymous participants in the standardized jury process.

We seek to present a balanced mix of emerging and established artists, a consistently refreshed list of artists who have not yet/not recently/not often showcased, and to provide a diverse array of artists (diverse in sound, genre, culture, geography, language, gender).

Folk music includes many variations, all of which are considered for showcases including Appalachian, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Traditional (specific to each country/culture), World, and of course singer-songwriters.

There are no quotas for any of the above.

Quality of the work, current career activity, future performance plan, and national/international tour-readiness are all factored into the selection.


We strive to refresh the showcase list regularly to ensure our attending and invaluable presenters (buyers) have an opportunity to hear and hire new artists, or artists they have not had a chance to preview recently.

As such we have a “maximum 2 year repeat” Official Showcase practice, meaning that if an artist had an Official Showcase in 2017 and a second Official Showcase in 2018 they are not eligible to apply in 2019. They may still arrange Private Showcases in 2018 and are welcome to reapply for an Official Showcase for the 2020 conference. This policy provides artist turnover for presenters attending to see new artists, and ensures access to Official Showcases for a wide community of established and emerging artists.

Radius Clause

In order not to compete with Official Folk Alliance International Showcases, and to maximize the community and career impact of presenter and industry attendance on-site, artists selected for an Official Showcase, the Kansas City Folk Festival lineup, or as Music Camp instructors are not permitted to perform concerts within a 15-mile radius of the conference hotel between the hours of 6pm - 3am, February 14-17, 2018.

Stage Production

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

Backline includes guitar and bass amps, a limited number of upright basses (check-out only), drum kits* (just bring sticks/brushes), and keyboards*. * Not all stages have drum kits and keyboards.

Additional production information can be found on the Showcase FAQ page.

Mission Statement

The mission of Folk Alliance International is to nurture, engage, and empower the international folk music community - traditional and contemporary, amateur and professional - through education, advocacy and performance.

Additional Conference Events

2019 FAI Conference

DATE: February 13-17, 2019

LOCATION:  Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, Montréal, Québec, Canada

UPCOMING DEADLINES:  Early Bird member registration ends May 31, 2018