FEST: 81th National Folk Festival (MD)

Posted by:  National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA)  | When:  –  | Where: Maryland, USA

  Booking 3 Sonicbids bands

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The National Council for the Traditional Artists (NCTA) is seeking traditional musicians and dancers to perform at the 81th National Folk Festival, happening Aug. 26-28, 2022.

Selected artists are paid an honorarium.

**We are currently planning for in-person events this year, with a continued commitment to the health and safety of all participants. All contracted artists will be asked to comply with the event's Covid-19 protocols, procedures, and precautions.

The Opportunity

First held in 1934, the National Folk Festival is the nation's longest-running multicultural festival of traditional arts. It's a traveling festival produced in partnership with communities around the country. A 3-year stay in each host city lays the groundwork for sustainable, locally-produced festivals that continue after the National moves on. The FREE event lasts 3 days and has hosted audiences of 175,000. With music, dance, food, crafts, and more, the National features up to 30 performing groups on 7 outdoor stages. The 81st National Folk Festival is produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) in partnership with the City of Salisbury, MD, the Salisbury Arts & Entertainment District & other local partners.

Past Performers Include: Mavis Staples, Liz Carroll, Sun Ra Arkestra, Balla Kouyaté & Famoro Dioubaté, Treme Brass Band, BeauSoleil, Shemekia Copeland, Pedrito Martinez Group, Grandmaster Flash, Clinton Fearon, Quebe Sisters

The Band

  • Music submitted must adhere to the definition of Folk & Traditional Arts provided by the National Endowment for the Arts (see T&Cs)
  • Additional genres accepted are Appalachian, African Diaspora, Cowboy, Eastern European, Novelty/Variety, Storytelling
  • Artists applying to this festival need not apply to the Lowell and Richmond Folk Festivals, which are also produced by the NCTA

The Gig


  • Set lengths range from 45-90 minutes
  • Professional sound and lighting provided
  • Sound engineer provided
  • Outdoor stages
  • Backline provided (including guitar/bass amps, keyboards, drums, percussion)
Additional Compensation Details:
  • Artists provided honorarium negotiated at the time of booking
  • Travel, hotel, and meals provided
  • Artists keep 85% of merchandise sales


  • Compensation Amount: Determined at time of booking