Folk Alliance International’s “Folk Unlocked Virtual Festival” Aims To Help Hurting Artists

Columns For the Love of Music News & Events


This year with its Folk Unlocked Virtual Festival, a first-ever worldwide 800+ hour online public festival to be held February 22nd through the 26th, Folk Alliance International kicks off its Village Fund, a fund specifically designed to help musicians and folk music workers through the Covid 19 crisis.

Aengus Finnan, executive director of FAI when speaking of the Village Fund states “Our community is hurting. Folk musicians, and the industry entrepreneurs who support them to bring music to the public (online or in-person), have all been affected. The Village Fund is designed to connect all the folk music fans who would normally be in clubs, venues, or festival fields with the opportunity to support the genre they love by ensuring financial support is there to see them through tough times, and to maintain a healthy ecology for this genre so as many as possible can return to their craft and careers as soon as possible.”

Of the actual event Folk Unlocked, Finnan continues “With everything in a suspended state, we’ve carefully crafted a virtual event that will provide not only a family reunion moment for everyone in our folk community, but also a series of inspiring and informative panels, interactive industry connection points, and a stellar line-up of showcases curated by our partners across the US and around the world, as well as our hallmark self-produced independent showcases. Calling it Folk Unlocked dovetails with our waived membership fees, and choose your own registration price approach this year, appreciating many are hurting financially. We want to ensure everyone who wants to can show up at any price that works, including no cost at all.”

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.

Links to the entire list of “Spotlight” and “Unlocked” showcase artists scheduled to perform during the festival are below and that list includes, along with scores of the artists, Allison Russell, A.J. Haynes of Seratones, Arlo McKinley, Cedric Burnside, Emma Swift, Grant-Lee Phillips, Izzy Heltai, Jade Bird, Jim Lauderdale, Katie Pruitt, Keb’ Mo’, Liz Longley, Los Lobos, Mark Erelli, Michaela Anne, Nobody’s Girl, Rissi Palmer featuring James Gilmore, Terra Lightfoot, The War and Treaty, William Prince, Annette Wasilik, Arielle Silver, Ayla Brook & the Sound Men, Ben De La Cour, Cary Morin, Cidny Bullens, Darling West, Dom Flemons, Gangstagrass, Grace Pettis, Jake Blount, Josh O’Keefe, Kyshona, Lily B Moonflower, Lucy Wainwright Roche, Peter Yarrow, Rachel Brooke, Raye Zaragoza, Shanna in a Dress, Susan Pepper, Will Kimbrough, and Xanthe Alexis.

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 Village Fund visit:

All- to view the full artist “Spotlight” showcase lineup and schedule visit here.

All – to view the full artist “Unlocked” 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:


1 thought on “Folk Alliance International’s “Folk Unlocked Virtual Festival” Aims To Help Hurting Artists

Leave a Reply!