FESTIVAL: National Folk Festival 2018 (Sept)

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


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The National Council for Traditional Artists (NCTA) is seeking traditional musicians and dancers to perform at the National Folk Festival 2018, happening Sept. 7-9, 2018. 

Selected artists are paid an honorarium.

The Opportunity

First held in 1934, the National Folk Festival is the longest-running multicultural festival of traditional arts in the nation. It is a traveling festival produced in partnership with communities around the country. A three-year stay in each host city lays the groundwork for sustainable, locally-produced festivals that continue after the National moves on. The free-to-the-public event lasts three 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 78th National Folk Festival is produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) in partnership with the City of Salisbury, MD, and other local partners.

Past Performers Include: Mavis Staples, Solas, Sun Ra Arkestra, Balsam Range, Henry Butler, BeauSoleil, Shemekia Copeland, Pedrito Martinez Group, DJ 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

Terms And Conditions

The folk and traditional arts are rooted in and reflective of the cultural life of a community. Community members may share a common ethnic heritage, cultural mores, language, religion, occupation, or geographic region. These vital and constantly reinvigorated artistic traditions are shaped by values and standards of excellence that are passed from generation to generation, most often within family and community, through demonstration, conversation, and practice.


  • Compensation Amount: Determined at time of booking