Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question you’d like answered, please email fai@folk.org or call 816-221-3655. If you’re a first-time conference attendee, please visit our First-Timers page for more resources.

Registration

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?

Your registration includes access to most conference events, including the International Folk Music Awards, daytime panels, Official Showcases, Private Showcases, and more. The Louis Jay Meyers Music Camp is only open to conference registrants, and most classes have a $10-$20 fee. The business accelerator events also have an additional fee and are only open to conference attendees.

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

Yes. We do offer day passes, although we don’t typically recommend them because a full conference registration is a better value than just one day pass. Learn more about day passes here.

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 cancellation policy?

1. Registration fees are refundable (minus a $50 handling fee) until December 15, 2019.

2. Registrations can be transferred to the 2021 conference until December 31, 2019.

3. Conference credits cannot be used toward membership fees nor do they guarantee future exhibit space.

4. Unfortunately, there are no refunds or credits for cancelations after December 31, 2019, including due to illness or weather.

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

6. There are no refunds or credits for failure to redeem a promo code during registration.

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

There are no substitutions of registrants 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, food, etc. 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, carpool, etc. to cut costs. If you are a first-time attendee, we recommend checking out our resources for first-timers, including the Connecting Folk program, which pairs first-timers with mentors to help them navigate the conference.

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

FAI Membership (Individual) – $70
Official Showcase Application – $12.50
Registration – $250
Hotel – $510 + tax (1 room/3 nights)
Meals – $180 ($60/day x 3 days)
Travel – $300
Return ground transport – $80
Promo materials – $85

Total estimated cost: $1,487.50

Ways to Reduce Costs

Travel

Where is the conference located?

All conference events (with the exception of the closing party) are located at the Sheraton New Orleans. The hotel address is 500 Canal St., New Orleans, LA 70130. Learn more about the hotel here.

Is parking available at the hotel?

Valet parking is available at the hotel for $46 USD plus tax daily. Oversized vehicle parking is $55 USD plus tax.

How do I get to the hotel from the airport?

The hotel does not provide shuttle service. A taxi or rideshare service is $30-$45 USD. Joieful is also an option for shuttles in New Orleans.

Performing

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.

Sponsorship

How do I reserve a booth in the exhibit hall?

We offer organization and artist pricing for 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 Business Development Manager, for more details: development@folk.org.

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.

Official 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. Applicants are guaranteed a discounted conference registration rate regardless of Official Showcase award status. View the Official Showcase Applicant price matrix here.

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

No, Official Showcase application fees are non-refundable.

If our band is accepted to perform, do we have to register the entire band at the same time by October 31st in order to receive $200/person member rate?

Yes, your entire band must register at the same time to receive the discounted $200/person member rate.

If we register three members of our band at $200/person early bird rate, is it possible to add a fourth member to our group at $200 later?

To receive the $200/person rate, three or more people must be registered at the same time. A single registration done later is added at the individual rate at the time of registration. Refunds can be processed until 12/15/19 (minus a $50 fee).

How long is an Official Showcase?

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

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, a limited number of upright basses (check-out only) (checking to see if this is correct), 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?

We have a limited number of upright basses for artists to borrow. Upright bass check-out is done by making a reservation on the day of your showcase in the Instrument Check room. You cannot reserve a bass before the day of your showcase. All basses are first-come, first-served. Basses must be returned immediately after your showcase is complete.

Who do I contact to change my stage plot?

Contact our production team at production@folk.org. 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 180 artists.

How do I get my song on the Official Showcase Compilation CD?

FAI produces a compilation CD of Official Showcase artists each year, curated by the Executive Director, to provide a dynamic and balanced view of the showcases. The cost to place a track on the CD is $300-$400 (depending on track duration) due at time of submission. Tracks not selected are immediately reimbursed the full amount. Official Showcase artists are sent a track submission email with details after they are accepted and have confirmed a showcase.

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 4 nights of the conference. Click here for information on Private Showcases.

Can I perform in a public show in New Orleans 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 January 22-26, 2020.

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

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.

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

We have a limited number of upright basses for artists to borrow. Upright bass check-out is done by making a reservation on the day of your showcase (Official or Private) in the Instrument Check room. You cannot reserve a bass before the day of your showcase. All basses are first-come, first-served. Basses must be returned immediately after your showcase is complete.

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.

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 10:00pm-3am.