Official Showcase Applications are now closed!

What are Official Showcases?

Official Showcases at FAI present the best talent that folk music has to offer: from cutting-edge sounds to rich musical traditions. Official Showcase Artists are selected by a jury of international experts. From hundreds of applicants, 160 are chosen to perform on the conference's largest stages to crowds of agents, DJs, promoters, labels, venues, organizations, and more.

These jury-selected, tour-ready musicians represent diverse cultures, languages, and sound. In a commitment to more equitably represent the folk community, FAI has pledged to achieve a 50/50 gender balance in programming across all stages.

Each Official Showcase is a 30-minute set performed on a full production stage at the in-person conference. Performers must apply before the deadline and await approval. Official Showcases are not awarded more than two years in a row.

FAI 2025 Official Showcases will take place at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montréal, Québec, Canada.

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Key Dates & Deadlines

Below are the key dates and deadlines for the Official Showcases

Friday, May 17, 2024

Official Showcase applications open

Friday, July 5, 2024

Official Showcase applications close at 11:59 pm CT

Friday, August 30, 2024

Official Showcase Artists notified

Thursday, September 12, 2024

Official Showcase Artists announced publicly

Official Showcase Applications are now closed!

How do I apply for an Official Showcase?

First, read through our requirements to make sure you're not ineligible. We'd also recommend looking at our resources below about necessary materials and how to submit the best application possible.

Second, fill out the Official Showcase application. We have a new system this year, so even our regular folkies should check out this our tutorial or follow the full instructions down below.

Then, submit your application with the application fee. FAI Members get 50% off their application: log-in to your FAI Membership account here to access the 50% off code. Become an FAI Member.

Selected Official Showcase Artists will be notified August 30, 2024.

NOTE for Existing FAI Members: the Official Showcase Application uses a different account than your FAI Membership Account. Please follow the instructions below carefully to create a new account for the Official Showcase Application portal, even if you are an FAI Member.

Read Full Instructions for Official Showcase Applications
(Click to expand, it's long)

Benefits of Applying

Playing an Official Showcase is already an incredible chance to put your music front-and-center of the industry, but there are other benefits that come from just applying:

  • Official Showcase applicants are prioritized for conference first-timer scholarships. You could get 50-100% of your conference registration covered by a scholarship. Only first-time attendees are eligible for scholarships. Both artist and industry scholarships are available.
  • Your application puts you on the radar. When you apply for an Official Showcase, your application gets circulated amongst (at least) six high-level professionals in our industry who are required to listen to your music and review your entire application. That can be a powerful tool for exposure. Many acts have been booked or discovered from their application alone.
  • Standby artists. We have hundreds of artists who apply for Official Showcases. Narrowing the selection down is the most difficult part of our process. When every application is just as incredible and deserving, not being selected for an Official Showcase is not any indication of an act's quality, skill, or readiness. When our final selection is complete, we also select a limited number of Standby artists who are called in the case an Official Showcase artist drops (and we usually have many drops).
  • Repeat applicants have more recognition, and therefore have better chances. This is a tip from our Submitting an Outstanding Showcase webinar that our veteran artists will already know. When you apply for showcases at any conference, you are actively showing interest, being circulated through a jury, and building awareness and recognition. And that only helps your application. Our conference director Jerod Rivers has said, "There are so many acts I want to put on stage, but then we won't have any room left that year. So I think, 'Well, there will be room next year," but then they won't apply for the next year! Noooo!"

Materials You'll Need to Complete the Application

  1. Credit card for application fee
  2. Contact information for the artist and all representation
  3. 50-word bio (3rd-person)
  4. Two different artist/band headshot photos (300dpi, color)
  5. Link to 1-2 audio samples (note: the jury cannot review downloads, Dropbox or Google Drive files)
  6. Link to 1 video of a live performance of the proposed showcase format
  7. Names/roles of all band members
  8. Stage plot (.pdf)
  9. Links to the most recent highest profile media reviews
  10. The most significant nominations or awards the artist has won
  11. (optional but helpful) FAI will use Chartmetric's music data analytics tool as part of the official showcase review process. To make sure your data is as accurate as possible, we suggest owning your own artist page and updating it with all of your platforms. To activate a free 90-day trial create an account here select Artist plan, enter your artist’s name, and a 100% discount will be applied at the check out.

Application Fee

FAI Members: $25

Non-members: $50

FAI Members get 50% off log-in to your FAI Membership account here to access the 50% off code. Become an FAI Member.

Official Showcase Artist Cost Breakdown

Attending FAI can be an investment, and attending as an Official Showcase Artists is no different: you have your application fee and conference registration, not to mention travel/room/food.

Official Showcase Application

$25 for FAI Members
$50 for Non-Members

Conference Registration

Lowest Price, Early Bird (June 1 - July 31): $235 for Artist FAI Members

Registration is capped at $775 for Official Showcase Artists with multiple members

Travel / Hotel / Food / Etc.

(not included)

Total:

between $260 - $825

Ways to Save

To make attending more equitable and accessible, there are many ways to save on your conference registration: if you're coming to FAI for the first time, apply for a scholarship; become an FAI Member for $150 off your registration; volunteer to attend the conference for free; or use our referral program to earn your registration fee back in full!

Also, we always automatically apply an Artist discount to registrations, but the earlier you register the more you save!

How do I Submit the Best Showcase Application?

The final selection of Official Showcase Artists is one of the most difficult processes for our team and jurors because of how talented (and huge) our community is. Not being selected as an Official Showcase Artist is not necessarily a sign that an act is less talented or less deserving than any other – or that a showcase application was weak. But having a strong application will definitely help you.

At last year's, Submitting an Outstanding Showcase Application webinar, we collected thoughts from our conference director Jerod Rivers, Lisa Whytock from Showcase Scotland, and Nicole Roman-Johnston from SXSWthree experts on jurying and curating global conferences.

In this 1-hour, detailed breakdown, you'll learn

  • How to write a touring/marketing plan that shows your career-readiness
  • Tips for keeping your promo assets professional
  • What a jury cares about most when looking at your application

If you're new to this world, or familiar but always scratching your head at this process and decision-making, this is a must-watch.

We'll be announcing more resources like this soon, so sign up for our updates to get notified.

Requirements for Official Showcase Artists

Eligibility

  • FAI Membership is not a requirement to apply for an Official Showcase
  • All selected Official Showcase Artists and accompanying musicians are required to be paid registrants of the conference. Registration can be refunded up to 30 days prior to the conference.
  • FAI 2025 is take place in Montréal, Québec, Canada. All non-Canadian artists must be legally able to enter Canada and are responsible for acquiring all necessary travel permits, including visas, when necessary
  • Artists are not allowed to showcase as an Official Showcase Artist for more than two consecutive years without a gap year. This policy ensures turnover and wider access to Official Showcases for our community of established and emerging artists.

Radius Clause

In order not to compete with Folk Alliance International Official Showcases, and to maximize the community and career impact of presenter and industry attendance on-site, artists selected for an Official Showcase are not permitted to perform concerts within a 15 mile (24 kilometer) radius of the conference hotel between the hours of 4pm – 3am, Feb 19 - 23, 2025.

  • This clause does not restrict Private Showcases at the conference, radio performances, media interviews, or in-store signings.
  • Off-site events (within the above conference dates/times/distance) cannot be promoted in any advance communication to the FAI delegate list or in any on-site branding, advertising, announcements, or activity.
  • Any use of the Folk Alliance International name or logo (in relation to an off-site event) must be approved in writing by FAI in advance of all events and promotion.

Disclaimers

  • If accepted for a showcase, artists are required to post that they are an Official Showcase artist on social media using the FAI provided badge. This action is part of the artist’s contract.
  • Official Showcases are “festival style” performances, meaning that there are no sound checks and the lighting is set. The performances are 30 minutes long with a 15 minute change over. All performances take place in hotel ballrooms. There is no guaranteed use of in-ear-monitors.
  • Official Showcase performances are not open to the public. There are no public tickets or guest passes available. All attendees of the Official Showcases must be registered delegates of the conference.