Alaska Folk Festival

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The Alaska Folk Festival is an annual celebration of music by folk from Alaska, the Northwestern United States, Canada, and further. It is held in Juneau, Alaska, most commonly during early April.

It includes performances from a wide variety of solo artists and musical groups, and it provides workshops for people interested in the music. There are also dances, jams, singer/songwriter showcases and other events. All events are free to the public. This festival is supported solely by volunteers and donations. There are no auditions for the acts, anyone can apply. Each act is 15 minutes long. There are 9 concerts over 7 days with about 15 acts in each concert.

Each year we hire one Guest Artist group. They are contracted to play two 45-minute sets on the main stage, sometimes a dance set, provide workshops, and jam with folks around town.

A word about the folk fest performer selection process: while we genuinely wish that every single applicant could receive a performance spot, our spots are limited and our applicants grow every year. Putting together the folk festival schedule is one of the hardest parts of being on the Folk Festival board. To say that everyone has an equal chance at a set is a lie - we give preference to performers who were waitlisted the previous festival and to performers who are applying for the first time. Part of our mission is encouraging the development and growth of folk music in Alaska, and we think one of the best ways we can do that is to provide performers with what may be their first time on a stage with a great sound crew and the most generous audience around. We also try to ensure that each concert has a variety of styles of music and a variety of group sizes.

The only limitation on musical style is the 15 minutes allocated for each act. Since the setup time must also fit into the 15 minutes, complicated setups are not a good idea, and may not be allowed. Performers include poets and dancers as well as musicians.

The 42nd annual Alaska Folk Festival will be April 4–10, 2016.

The Alaska Folk Festival was very pleased to have Tanna Peters as the poster artist for the 41st folk festival.

2016 guest artists will be the Carper Family featuring guitarist Sophia Johnson. Austin-based trio of Melissa Carper [upright bass], Beth Chrisman [fiddle], and Jenn Miori [guitar] applies their signature, stunning three-part harmonies to bluegrass, old-time, country and swing tunes of the standard and original variety, pushing and honoring American musical traditions at every step.

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The Alaska Folk Festival, Inc. is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the encouragement, support and perpetuation of folk music in Alaska.