FARM 2017

In case you misplace your 2016 program, or lost it, or just love having large electronic files, you can download a copy of the FARM 2016 Conference Program HERE!

The Sheraton Iowa City

Each year we host a conference that spans four days, beginning Thursday afternoon and ending on Sunday.  The Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) conference is an event where folk and acoustic music professionals gather to meet, talk, learn, listen, promote, pay tribute, celebrate, sing, dance and make music. The FARM 2017 Gathering will take place Thursday, October 19 through Sunday, October 22 at the Sheraton and Hotel Vetro in Iowa City , Iowa. Check back often for updates or better yet, Click on the Contact page and sign up to receive our e-newsletter and join the listserve.


What is the FARM community like?  A new member says:

You probably already know this, but you guys have created something wonderful – and something very different from what I’m used to seeing. Up until this point, hanging out with musician friends, I’ve only been exposed to the distressing side of the “back-stage” music scene; the cutthroat competition, the greed, the ego battles and levels of anxiety that are so high that for some folks turning to drugs seems like the only way to cope. And yet down in KC I walked into a big room full of genuinely friendly, supportive, and PHENOMENALLY talented people, all interested in creating a vibrant community and extending a helping hand to their fellow musicians.”

 – Rev. Judi Hendricks, a FARMette 2017 attendee

And this from last year:

“Well we are back to the chilly, gray, drab, empty, and dull reality of post-FARM life and slowly catching up on sleep. We had so much fun and we were just truly blown away by the supportive and friendly FARM community. So—a sincere thanks to everyone who made this past weekend so wonderful. Especially the organizers and volunteers. Thank you so much.”

The Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers

Public Performances – “A Taste of FARM”

Registration Information

Showcasing at FARM

Conference Schedule


Folk Alliance Region Midwest is thrilled to announce that Peter Mulvey will be your keynote speaker at the 2017 FARM Conference in Iowa City, IA.

Over the past 20 years, Mulvey has pursued a restless, eclectic path as a writer and musician – immersing himself in Tin PanAlley jazz, modern acoustic, poetry, narrative, and Americana stylings. Relentlessly touring as a headliner – his attitude is, “When you love what you do, you can work all the time,” – he has also shared the stage with luminaries such as Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, Ani diFranco, Indigo Girls, and Greg Brown, and has attracted an audience that stretches from Anchorage to Amsterdam.

Immersed in language, art, and music, Mulvey’s playing ranges from tender acoustic picking to rootsy blues & jazz.
“His voice feels like fine old leather, and his guitar sounds like it’s on steroids… a superb technician…” – Boston Globe


Here’s what our previous Key Note Speakers have said about FARM:

“FARM made me see and feel that I’m part of a songwriting community. This was such an exciting and a happy realization. I had a great time and saw a lot of people whom I ordinarily don’t see nearly enough of. I heard some great songwriters talk about how they do it, had many wonderful conversations and got some new ideas. I came away with renewed energy and resolve for my own work, and who doesn’t need that? I’m grateful to the folks at FARM who make this powerful experience possible.” – Michael P. Smith, 2011 Key Note Speaker

” FARM– for me, is home. Born and raised in the Midwest and now living here again after spending time in LA in the ’90’s, I am proud to be a product of, and a creator in the greater Midwest. We are America’s Heartland, and our conference exudes a certain relaxed, charming, and simple approach to Folk and roots music. FARM takes place on a human scale. It is possible to see and hear virtually everyone at the conference– if you put your mind to it. I’ve really enjoyed watching the conference grow over the years, and feel the opportunities for connections of all kinds are here for the cultivating.
I also value the checking in with my fellow performers and fellow presenters. It’s not often that we cross paths and FARM offers the chance to slow down and assess where we are and where we may be heading… I love hearing new artists, young artists and artists who I haven’t heard in a long time– they’re all at FARM. This community comes together once a year and it is a treasured time. Come back ! OR, join us as a first-timer. Either way, I think you’ll be recharged in ways that will surprise you. ”  –  Tim Grimm, Songwriter, Performer, Actor, 2014 Key Note Speaker

Private Showcases

We will once again be opening a limited number of hotel rooms for Private showcases to be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday late night (midnight to 2am). Click here for more information.

Taste of FARM

We are pleased to offer this option for music fans (as opposed to musicians and others in the music industry) who wish to attend only the evening concerts, and not the full conference (meaning not the workshops, meals, special events, etc.). Taste of FARM tickets are available for walk-up ticket purchase, or can be pre-ordered on line.

The cost for a single night is $20, or you may buy a 3 night pass for $50.  Taste of FARM will provide a music fan access to over 100 performances by FARM musicians each night.  If you are a fan of folk and lyric based music, this is a FANtastic value!

Seeking 2017 Sponsors

As always we can only continue to bring you an ever more exciting and productive conference with the help of our many generous sponsors. There a few who continue to support us each year but we need more. In addition to our undying gratitude and the good feeling of knowing that you’ve helped us to bring you a better and better conference each year, we offer valuable perks for our sponsors at all levels. No amount is too small and we’ll accept your donations any time. Visit our Sponsorship page for all the details.

Volunteers Wanted!

We’re always seeking volunteers to handle a number of minor and major tasks, especially in the months prior to the conference. If you’re interested in participating on a committee, volunteering to help at the conference or just want to make a suggestion please get in touch with us. Visit the Get Involved area of the site for more information.

See the sidebar for quick links and find important deadlines in the footer.

Official FARM Playlist

We are currently featuring our 2017 Official Showcase artists! Give a listen - you can expect more of this at this year's FARM conference!


Friends of FARM


Laura Lind
Andy Cohen
Mark Dvorak
Two Way Street Coffee House
Curt Joa
Sue Kessell
Tim Grimm
Sandy Andina
Deb Kirmer – Last Minute Folk Concerts
Annie Capps
Sue Kessell (WNUR)
West Bethesda Folk Music Conferences
Patty Stevenson and Craig Siemsen
JLMartin Music

Visit our Sponsorship page for more info.

Future FARM Dates


Dates for future FARM Conferences:

Grand Rapids, MI

Crowne Plaza Grand Rapids Airport Hotel
5700 28th Street
Grand Rapids, MI
* October 25 – 28, 2018
* October 24 – 27, 2019
* October 22 – 25, 2020


Dates of the 2017 FARM Conference:

In Iowa City, IA
* October 19 – 22, 2017

FARM States & Provinces

North Dakota
South Dakota