Folk Alliance International (FAI) is proud to announce the 2019 Official Showcase artists* representing 23 countries (*confirmed to date and subject to change) for the 31st annual conference taking place February 13-17, 2019, at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
This was an exceptional applicant year with over 1000 artists (a 30% increase over the previous year) from 28 countries applying for 180 Official Showcase slots.
A 21-member international jury made up of festival directors and music industry professionals from the U.S., Canada, and abroad spent one month reviewing and scoring the applications. FAI places a priority on reflecting the full diversity of international folk music, and while scoring applications jurors are asked to consider how well the applicant helps broaden the view and offering of folk music for presenters, industry, and audience.
A platform for luminaries and rising stars, FAI’s Official Showcases are 30 minutes in length and are held concurrently on ten full-production stages throughout the host hotel over four nights. Artists perform for hundreds of festivals and venue bookers, agents, managers, labels, media, and music industry representatives. The curated showcases feature touring and export-ready artists representing a diverse array of folk genres including Appalachian, Americana, Bluegrass, Blues, Cajun, Celtic, Francophone, Global Roots, Indie-Folk, Indigenous, Latin, Old-Time, Traditional, Singer-Songwriter, Spoken Word, and every imaginable fusion.
High profile artists from previous conferences include John Oates, Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers, Lake Street Dive, Rhiannon Giddens with The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Lhasa de Sela, AHI, Béla Fleck , Sarah Jarosz, The Milk Carton Kids, The War and Treaty, Darlingside, The Stray Birds, Valerie June, John Fullbright, The Wailin’ Jennys, Kaia Kater, The Waifs, and Nickel Creek. Past performances have also included guest appearances by Judy Collins, Billy Bragg, Rita Coolidge, Ron Sexsmith, Ani DiFranco, Archie Fisher, Sara Watkins, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Peggy Seeger and many more.
FAI is committed to diversity, inclusion, equitable representation in all programming. In compliment to ongoing efforts to prioritize this commitment, FAI has formally signed on to the PRS Foundation’s international Keychange initiative, a pioneering effort which empowers women to transform the future of music and encourages festivals to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. FAI achieved this goal of gender equity with the 2018 Official Showcases and aims to achieve it across all stages and programs in 2019.
Returning to Canada in 2019, the FAI conference theme, The Spirit of Creativity, is an exploration of the artistic process from inspiration to vocation and a collective conversation about innovation, collaboration, and spirituality in art. The 31st annual conference will be held February 13-17, 2019, in Montréal, Québec, Canadawhich is known for its vibrant music scene and public celebration of the arts. Additionally, the historic host hotel Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s bed-in at the hotel where they wrote: “Give Peace a Chance.”