FARM Announces Dates for Future Conferences

FARM announces the following dates for its future conferences in Iowa City, Iowa

  • October 22 – 25, 2015

  • October 27 – 30, 2016

  • October 19 – 22, 2017



No matter if this is your first time attending or your 10th – there will be lots of offerings to fill your cup, and with a little preparation you can expect to learn something new, hear/play some amazing music and make connections that can last a lifetime.
It’s taken me a few times attending several conferences to figure out what my purpose for being there was.  At first I thought it was simply to get that gig. Then I’d go home, scratch my head and wonder why I didn’t get booked at The Ark or get signed by Red House Records.  I love having fun and staying up late with friends, and that is a great part of our folk scene, but this is a business conference too.
There’s a lot to do at FARM this year, so you’ll want to have a plan to help balance it out before you arrive at the conference.  It will make it easier to navigate through the day and night activities.
The first place to start preparing is
  • The FARM schedule — An awesome lineup of showcases, speakers and workshops.
  • Registrants List  This is the best way to see who will be there and who you might want to network with at the conference. Identify people that you would like to meet and that you think would be a good fit for what you do and then introduce yourself.
  • New This Year —Go to and choose “Private showcasing at FARM” to see every private showcase. You can chose to view by each individual private showcase room, each artist, or by date and time. You can also download schedules to your smart phone.
  • Venue and Folk DJ Reception — A mix and mingle where you can network with DJ’s and Venues. Bring CD’s, business cards and showcase schedules to share.
  • And so much more…
Here’s some information that I have found helpful.
  • Artists/Showcase Hosts —  Print a showcase schedule to share. Ideally, something small that can be put in a pocket (think postcard size.) Flyers are good to put in selected/approved areas, too. Personally, I have steered away from printing a lot of paper that ends up in the trash bin.
  • Presenters/DJ/Venues/Artists — Business cards are a good way to share contact info, especially if a CD or other media is exchanged.
  • Meals —Try sitting next to someone you don’t know. It’s one of the most valuable and easiest ways to network.
  • Take notes —Having a note pad and pen ready for post showcase conversations and networking is a must.
  • Rest — Be sure to take care of yourself. A little quiet time or a nap can go a long way in maintaining your stamina throughout the conference.
One of the best aspects about FARM is the laid back atmosphere that a regional conference can offer. Folk Alliance International (with over 2000 registrants) can be overwhelming and difficult to make connections. I’ve found FARM to be an intimate, comfortable experience. You’ll be able to connect and catch up with old friends and make new ones all while doing business! I always feel rejuvenated after attending and feel that FARM embodies what the folk community is all about.
Have fun and play your hearts out!
Rj Cowdery
singing songwriter

So, what do you need to know before arriving at FARM?

Are you scheduled to perform in the Official Showcase, Presenter & DJ Showcase or Performance Lane?  Check the schedule online and make sure you know the day and time of your performance.  Conference Schedule

Are you hosting a workshop?  Check the schedule for the day, time and room.  And while you’re at it, check the schedule for workshops you’d like to attend.

If you are performing in the Official Showcase or in the Presenter & DJ Showcase your performance will be in the Alpine room and sound reinforcement will be provided by Maurice Smeets of Studio A Recording and Sound.  On the day of your performance, check with Maurice to schedule your sound check.

If you are performing in the Performance Lane read the following from Stephen Lee Rich, Performance Lane coordinator.

Dear FARM folk,

FARM is almost upon us. Those of you who have a slot in Performance Lane are probably already chomping at the bit to get out there. There are a total of sixty ten minute timeslots for the event. To keep this moving and on time will require everyone’s cooperation. This will not only make it easier for the other entertainers but for the promoters and bookers as well. They want to see as many acts as they can and have a very finite amount of time in which to achieve that. So, in an attempt to maximize the benefit of this event for all concerned I offer the following guidelines.

  1. Performances are in two rooms.  Make sure you know which room and what time you perform.
  2. You have ten minutes. That includes any time that you may need to set up. It is in your interest, and that of everyone else for you to be all tuned up and ready to play when your name is called.
  3. Into that ten minutes you can usually fit two songs with introductions. If you get to the end of your second song with two minutes left over, please, do not ask if you have time for another one. Unless you have a song that is only a minute-and-a-half long with an intro that is less than thirty seconds, you don’t. That “extra” time can give bookers and promoters who need to get to the other room to see another act a comfortable margin in which to do so.
  4. Performance Lane is un-plugged.  Make sure you can project your voice over your instrument.

You’ll notice that the list is short. It doesn’t take much to keep this moving smoothly. Thank you, Stephen Lee Rich.

Would you like to do us a favor?  

Have we got an offer for you!!  As in the past, not every room on the 2nd floor of the Chalet, where the Private Showcase rooms are located, will host a showcase.  We need to fill the other rooms on the floor.  Just imagine – your sleeping room would be surrounded by fun and lively musicians from midnight to 2am each night!  The joy you would experience!!  But seriously, the noise WILL stop at 2am.

If you would like to have your sleeping room located on this floor so you can be close to the action, send an email to Smitty at  First come, first served!  We’ll do all the work of getting your reservation assigned to this floor.  Thanks, Smitty

Private Showcases run from midnight to 2:00 am.  There are 11 rooms and 216 performances.  That’s a lot of information to keep track of.  So check out our NEW online schedule.  Private Showcase Schedule  Also available in a downloadable format.

Jamming is permitted and encouraged.  The hotel common areas are available – just find a spot and start playing.  Following the Private Showcases at 2 am we invite you to the conference function rooms.  You may jam as long as you wish.

We’ve put a lot into 3 days so come prepared (and rested).  And if you are able, plan to arrive by 2 pm on Thursday when Tim Grimm’s master craft workshop begins.  Followed by Hall & Morgan’s Carter family workshop.  Don’t miss out.

See you at FARM.

Bob Hofbauer
President, FARM Board of Directors
FARM Conference Director

14 days to FARM 2014

2014 FARM is only 14 days away.  Have you registered?  Still undecided?

Check our website for the many reasons to attend:
We’ve posted:
  • The conference Schedule
  • Workshops & Panels
  • Official Showcase performers
  • Presenter & DJ Showcase performers
  • Performance Lane performers
  • Our late night Private Showcase hosts, performers and schedule
  • The list of attendees
  • Our keynote speaker:  Tim Grimm
  • Our Folk Tradition in the Midwest Lifetime Awardee, Eric Peltoniemi
There is still time, register now for FARM 2014.

FARM announces the Presenter & DJ Showcase line up

Annie & Rod Capps presented by Cindy Morgan from Ten Pound Fiddle, East Lansing, MI

The Mrs. Dunbars presented by Heather Miller Rodriguez from KRUU, Fairfield, Iowa

Kira Small presented by Sue Kessell from WNUR, Evanston/Chicago

Emily White presented by Paul Zimmerman from Maple Street Chapel Folk Concerts, Lombard, IL

Chris Edrington presented by Smitty Smith from Pump House Concerts, East Lansing, MI

Victor James Dougherty presented by Kathy Forste from KC Cafe Radio (internet), Kansas City, MO

David Hawkins presented by Dave Humphreys from Two Way Street Coffee House, Downers Grove, IL

Graydon James & Laura Spink presented by Lilli Kuzma from WDCB, Glen Ellyn/Chicago

Charlie Mosbrook presented by Jim Hall from WLNZ, Lansing, MI

Keith Dyck presented by Mitch Podolak from Home Routes, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Kim & Reggie Harris presented by Lola Tyler from Wheatland Music Festival, Remus, MI

Eric Barnes presented by Stacy Bernard from KDHX, St. Louis, MO

The Gordons presented by Steve Jerrett from KOPN, Columbia, MO

Jonathan Rundman presented by Annie Capps from Trinity House Theatre, Livonia, MI

Ann Armstrong & Steve Hughes presented by Wayne Greene from Radiowayne (internet), Euless, TX

Laurie McClain presented by Tim Grimm from Americana Music Series, Columbus, IN

Future FARM Dates

Dates for future FARM conferences in Iowa City, IA

* October 22 - 25, 2015
* October 27 - 30, 2016
* October 19 - 22, 2017

2014 Friends of FARM

Sandy Andina
Sue Kessell (WNUR)
Kerry Patrick Clark
Simeon Peebler
Wayne Greene (
Deb Kirmer - Last Minute Folk
The Gordons
West Bethesda Folk Music Concerts
Ten Pound Fiddle

Visit our Sponsorship page for more info.

FARM Member States

North Dakota
South Dakota