The Two Things Everybody Needs To Know
(please read this carefully)
This is an application to be a
the headliners, all performers at the Tucson Folk Festival are volunteers
(as are all the staff). If you got here because you want to be considered
as a headliner for a future festival, you or your agent should
There is no formal application process for headliners, but selection usually
begins during summer of the year before the festival.
The Tucson Folk Festival is an
event, with some exceptions: Electric bass is OK, and we even provide a
bass amp at each stage. Electronic pianos are OK (played as a straight
piano, without special effects), as are pedal steel guitars and small
harmonica amps. Percussion of all kinds is welcome and small drum kits are
fine (large kits are allowed but discouraged because of stage space and
limited set-up time). Drum machines and backing tracks of any kind
are not allowed. Pedal setups for guitar players are strongly
General Festival Information
The 32nd Annual Tucson Folk Festival will take place
on Saturday May 6th & Sunday
May 7th, 2017.
The center of Festival activity, including the Plaza Stage, Kitchen Store
and Vendors area, is El Presidio Park in Downtown Tucson. Additional stages
are located within walking distance of the park at
Old Town Artisans and the Tucson Museum of Art.
(This year we are unable to use the Old Pima County Courthouse because
of construction, so there will only be 4 stages. We expect to have the
Courtyard stage open again next year.)
Sets are 25 minutes long on a half-hour schedule. If you bring a lot of
instruments, the set-up time will cut into your time with the audience.
We provide a complete sound system with plenty of DI's for your instruments
that have pickups and mics for those that don't, as well as for your
vocals. We also provide a bass amp at each stage so you don't have to haul
one around. If you need music stands, those are up to you.
The deadline for Songwriter applications is
December 26, 2016. We will try to notify
applicants of their selection status
by February 1, 2017.
All applications must be submitted online using the form on our
web site. There are no paper application forms.
The Songwriter application requires a
non-refundable fee of $25.
Checks must be postmarked by December 26, 2016,
or payment may be made online.
We encourage you to upload your demo tracks to our server, as this is
easiest for our selection committee to work with (the online application
form will lead you through the process). If you choose to mail a CD, we must
receive it no later than one week after the application deadline. Only CDs
(no tapes) will be accepted. Demo CDs mailed to us will not be returned.
The Tucson Folk Festival Songwriting Competition is open to anyone with the
Paid performers at the 32nd Annual Tucson Folk Festival.
Artists that are under contract with a major record label.
First-place winners from any prior year.
Applications usually number about 40. Only 10
will be invited to perform as finalists at the festival. Applicants are welcome
to apply as regular performers as well as applying to the contest.
FInals will be held Saturday, May 6th, 2017 at the 32nd Annual Tucson Folk Festival.
25-minute set on the Plaza Stage on Saturday evening
Rules for Preliminary Selection
Your demo CD must include 2 original songs that have not been previously
recorded by you on a major label. If selected as a finalist, you are not
required to perform the same songs (this is a change from previous years).
If the CD contains more than 2 songs you must write
clearly on the CD which tracks to use.
Time limit is a total of 8 minutes for the two songs. Entrants will
be penalized if their performance exceeds 8 minutes. (We
must limit the time in order for all finalists to get on and off stage and
perform their songs in the two-hour time slot dedicated to the contest.)
All judging decisions at the preliminary round are final.
Since the winning contestant performs a set on the Plaza Stage, and all
Plaza stage performances may be broadcast and streamed over the internet by
KXCI Community Radio, all contestants agree by submitting the application
that they will sign a broadcast release for TKMA and KXCI.
Rules For Finalists
10 entrants will be chosen for the finals.
We attempt to notify all applicants of our decisions by
February 1, 2017.
Selected finalists will be required to commit to attendance by
March 1, 2017.
Each finalist selected must perform 2 original songs. They do not
have to be the same ones that were sent as demos. However, they must
total no more than 8 minutes.
The only instruments allowed are those that the performer(s) can carry on
Acoustic instruments with pickups are permitted, however, no special
electronic equipment, synthesizers, devices, electric instruments or
amplifiers are allowed, with these exceptions: Electric bass is allowed, and
we provide a bass amp for you; small harmonica amps are also allowed. No
Each contestant can have 1 accompanist. The accompanist cannot be a paid
entertainer at the 32nd Annual Tucson Folk Festival.
If a selected finalist is unable to attend, the position will be offered
to an alternate.
The judges for the final round may include fellow musicians, persons
involved in the music industry, current festival headliners and / or past
Songs are judged on:
Originality and Uniqueness
Craftsmanship and Song Structure
Talent and Stage Presence
Performers may sell their CDs on consignment through the TKMA Kitchen Store
with TKMA keeping 20% of total sales as commission. CDs are typically priced
at $15, but you can price yours as you wish. Details on consignment will be
sent after selection notification.
If you are interested in volunteering at the Festival (in addition to
performing) please use the
page on our web site to contact the Volunteer Coordinator. Volunteer jobs
include selling T-shirts, beer, soda and raffle tickets; acting as MC, stage
manager and general roustabout.
Pre-festival volunteer opportunities include helping with fundraisers,
publicity, selling program ads, soliciting sponsorships and lining up raffle