Official Showcase Information

Elage Diouf performs in the NERFA Formal Showcase. Photo by Jake Jacobson.

DEADLINE April 30, 2020. 

There are two types of Official Showcases at the NERFA conference: Formal and Semi-formal. Artists are required to apply and a jury of music professionals will select which artists will be featured in the Official Showcases. Playing the juried showcases at the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference has been an extremely rewarding experience for many artists who perform in and around the Northeast region. 


The juried Formal Showcase is the premier showcase performance time slot at the NERFA conference.  Only 14 performance slots are available and each performance slot is 15 minutes.  The Formal Showcase is held between 7-9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday in the ballroom of the hotel.

The biggest advantage of being selected for a Formal Showcase performance slot is NOTHING else is allowed to go on during the Formal Showcase. You have the undivided attention of the conference attendees. Many festival organizers book their entire festival, and many venue operators have been known to book their entire season, at just one NERFA conference.

A scheduled sound check, large stage, professional sound, lighting and production services are provided. Your performance is mixed, recorded and a CD is produced by a professional recording engineer.


Immediately following the Formal Showcase on Friday and Saturday evening, the Semi-formal Showcases run from 9:45-11:20 p.m. Three conference rooms of showcases run concurrently. Each performance slot is 15 minutes long.  Like the Formal Showcase, nothing else is allowed to go on while the Semi-formal Showcases are in operation.

A line check, stage, professional sound and production services are supplied, but no recording is provided.


The application process is open to everybody (with a few restrictions, outlined below). Everyone appearing in the showcase must be registered for the conference and must be a member of Folk Alliance International upon registration for the conference – either individually or via a group membership.


Any individual or group that was selected and performed in a Formal Showcase at any of the previous five (5) four-day Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conferences (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) is not eligible to apply in 2020.


Any individual or group that was selected and performed in a Formal or Semi-formal Showcase at the 2019 annual four-day NERFA Conference is not eligible to apply in 2020.


Selected showcase artists will be notified of acceptance on or before July 31, 2019. Showcase artists will need to fulfill the following requirements, which must be met within fourteen (14) days of notification or your showcase slot will no longer be available:

  • All artists playing in the showcase must be members of the Folk Alliance International. Group memberships are available. Become a member.
  • All artists must register for the entire four day conference. Register.
  • Either the artist(s) or agent must pay the showcase production fee ($75 for Formal, $35 for Semi-formal) which is in addition to the $25 application fee. For Formal Showcase artists, the fee includes a CD of your performance.
  • The artist(s) or their agent must sign a release regarding their performance.


A few alternate artists will be chosen for both the Semi-formal and Formal Showcases. Alternates will be notified on or before July 31, 2019. If you are selected and agree to be an alternate, you must register for the conference within 14 days of notification. If an Official Showcase artist notifies us that they will not be able to perform, either before or during the conference, an alternate artist will be selected to perform in their place. If you are selected to play a stage, you must pay the production fee: $35 for a Semi-formal, $75 for a Formal.


Performing folk artists who desire to perform at venues and events in the Northeast United States and Canada are encouraged to apply to showcase during the NERFA conference. Applications are only accepted online. Your submission should be representative of what will be presented in your Official Showcase. If there is a difference between your submission and what will be presented at NERFA, please explain in the notes section of the application. For example: “This is a recording with a full band, but I will be appearing only with a bass player if I am selected.” There is an initial showcase application fee of $25 due with the submission of the application.

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