Folk Alliance Virtual Festival to support folk music artists (Feb. 22 – 26)

Folk Alliance International Presents Folk Unlocked: A First-Ever Worldwide 800+ Hour Online Public Festival, Feb 22-26, 2021

Calling all folk music fans! Folk Alliance International (FAI) – the leading non-profit organization for folk musicians and folk music industry – invites lovers of folk music in its many forms to join Folk Unlocked, an unprecedented virtual festival taking place February 22-26; featuring over 800 hours of music from all fifty US states and over thirty additional countries.

In a time of social distancing, the Folk Unlocked virtual festival is a musical trip around the world that marks the launch of the Village Fund, FAI’s grants to struggling musicians and folk music workers during the COVID crisis. As a result of moving online due to the pandemic, the organization is providing unlimited public access to the music showcases for the first time in its history. Last week, Rolling Stone named FAI as one of the “organizations that have been doing some of the most crucial relief work during the pandemic.”

The five-day music event will feature “Spotlight” showcases curated by FAI’s music industry partners including BOSE, CIRCULART (Colombia), Culture Ireland, Music Ontario, Showcase Scotland, Sounds Australia, and many more. It also includes access to the independently produced “Unlocked” showcases by artists themselves or hosted by other presenters. The festival will close with an amazing Global Music Marathon highlighting artists paired with counterparts across the globe. All public performances will be interactive, meaning fans are welcome to join in the chat with artists and fellow fans. Once performed, showcases will remain available for a limited time for later viewing by attendees.

Highlights from the festival lineup include:

* The legendary Los Lobos
* GRAMMY-winning zydeco artist Terrance Simien in addition to his daughter, Memphis-based singer-songwriter Marcella Simien
* GRAMMY-nominated Mississippi bluesman Cedric Burnside, son of the legendary RL Burnside
* Winner of NBC’s The Voice and singer-songwriter Sawyer Fredericks
* GRAMMY-winner Keb Mo
* Songwriting icon Jim Lauderdale
* All-female mariachi band and Latin GRAMMY winners Flor de Toloache
* Stars of the documentary film 20 Feet From Stardom The McCrary Sisters, who “seize and hold the spotlight,” according to the New York Times
* Veteran of Newport Folk Festival and Americana Music Award nominee and AAA #1 hitmaker Jade Bird
* “Stately” Katie Pruitt, with “ballads and choruses to shatter glass” (Pitchfork)
* Americana Music Award Emerging Artist winners, the Nashville soul duo The War and Treaty
* North Carolina gospel family group Dedicated Men of Zion, fresh from their appearance on NPR Music x globalFEST.
* “Inspiring artist” (Ann Powers, NPR) Michaela Anne.
* Australian Independent Record Labels Association winner Emily Wurramara, a proud Indigenous performer from Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory.
* BBC Folk Awards nominee and Irish Music Magazine award winner Karan Casey.
* Irreverent cult favorite, the “talented” (NPR) Steve Poltz
* Canadian First Nations artist William Prince, who plays music from his ancestors in the gospel tradition.
* Brazilian artist Jacqueline Marissol Mwaba, who fuses a diversity of musical influences with the African cultural panorama, mainly with the music of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (original country of her parents).
* Experimental and electronic music from Aguascalientes-born artist ANAN, Natalia Gómez (composer, vocalist, instrumentalist) and Rafael Durand Kick (producer, arranger).
* AJ Haynes of Pitchfork, NPR Music, and Rolling Stone-hailed Louisiana band Seratones.

FAI’s executive director Aengus Finnan exclaimed “We’re thrilled with the depth and diversity of the musical lineup. This event won’t just be close to home, it will literally be in your home, but what is clear is that it is absolutely far from ordinary.”

Folk Unlocked has been called a festival of festivals, with artists from all fifty states in the U.S. as well as Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guyana, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mexico, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Wales are set to perform, over thirty countries in total.

Fans of folk music can attend the five-day event by making a minimum $25 donation to The Village Fund, which represents a 5% contribution towards each $500 grant FAI will provide in support of folk artists/entrepreneurs experiencing pandemic related financial hardship.

The festival is part of a simultaneous virtual conference that is not open to the public, and requires separate “pay-what-you-can” registration for folk musicians and members of the music industry. The five-day online convention hosts panels, workshops, speakers, an exhibit hall, and network meetings.


All – to learn more about the The Village Fund visit:

All – to view the full artist showcase lineup visit:

Fans – to attend the Festival fans can donate here:

Fans – to simply make a secure online donation to the fund visit:

Artists/Industry – to register for the conference (including access to all showcases) visit:

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