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Festival Performers Selection Process

The mission of the Festival is to provide the general public with the opportunity to experience and participate in the traditional folk arts of music, dance, storytelling, and crafts using workshops, performance, demonstrations, and jam sessions.

The Albuquerque Folk Festival Inc. is an all-volunteer not-for-profit public charity. Its focus is on teaching and on the traditional and contemporary folk arts of the southwest. The majority of Festival performers are drawn from the local folk-arts community. They perform, provide workshops and demonstrations, and lead jam sessions. The Festival does, however, book a few national and regional acts each year.

If you would like to be a performer at our Festival, please read through the following criteria for stage performances, and provide the information requested on the performer application found below. All music performances must be primarily acoustic-folk and appropriate for our family-friendly venue. Final selections for the June Festival are typically complete by the end of February each year.

NATIONAL and REGIONAL paid stage performers are selected from a mix of the following criteria:

  1. Deep roots in the traditional folk music of the southwest, ability to present one or another of the various folk music traditions and to reach various ethnic, economic, and age groups found in contemporary New Mexico and the southwest;
  2. Ability to draw Festival first-time attendees from a broad demographic within and beyond the local folk music community;
  3. Ability to draw a large audience in the Albuquerque area, publicity hooks that will attract local media attention, and a recognized high level of performance in traditional or contemporary southwest folk music;
  4. Willingness and capacity to participate in workshops and performances in the Festival's core offerings.

LOCAL performers generally follow criteria 1, 2 & 4 and are paid a small honorarium.

The Albuquerque Folk Festival has three scheduled stages. In line with the participatory nature of our festival, all of our performers, amateur as well as professional, are scheduled on one the following three stages: the SANDIA STAGE and the JEMEZ STAGE, which are in the large outdoor tents, and the more intimate, acoustic-only, unamplified space called the (NEARLY) UNPLUGGED OUTLET. We do not have a “main stage.”

We also feature musicians in the Welcome Tent out in front of the main entry to the festival.

SIGN-UP STAGE: In addition to the scheduled stages/venues, we have a performance stage that is not scheduled in advance. Performers interested in playing a set on this stage may sign up at the festival for a time slot. Find more info about the SIGN-UP STAGE here.

JAM WITH THE BAND: We have a JAM WITH THE BAND venue scheduled throughout the day. Jam with the Band sessions are lead by high-quality bands and are open to all to play along. Stage bands may be selected to lead some of these sessions. Sign-Up Stage and Jam with the Band performers are volunteers and are not compensated by the Festival.

If you or your group are interested in performing at the Albuquerque Folk Festival, please complete the application form below.

Thanks for your interest in and support of the Albuquerque Folk Festival!

Debra Fortess
AFF Director of Performance