Each year we hire one Guest Artist group. They are contracted to play two 45-minute sets on the main stage, sometimes a dance set, provide workshops, and jam with folks around town. The criteria below is used as the Festival Board makes the determination the summer prior to the next event.
Guest Artists are selected based on strong recommendations, and adequate information. If you are interested in performing at the festival, please look at the Performer information link and follow that process. We cannot respond to everyone who wants to be our guest artist. If we did not contact you, you are a Performer not a Guest Artist.
[From the May, 1995 issue of the AFF Newsletter]
Must be source people, having a direct connection to a musical tradition. They can be old or young and have been.
Should have had a major influence on a particular style/tradition, an innovator or otherwise deeply involved in maintaining a tradition.
Should not be commercialized, a big name or hot act. With commercialization tends to come a gradual departure from the traditional roots to satisfy "the market."
Must be affordable.
Music should be a way of life, not necessarily a livelihood.
Must be willing to come to Alaska to jam and interact with the musicians at the Festival, to teach (not just the music, but the culture and history of their tradition). Coming to the Alaska Folk Festival should not be just another gig.
Must appeal to musicians, bring something that Alaska musicians want to learn -- the original reason for having a guest artist.
They must be alive(!) We have had people suggested who turned out to have died.
Alaska Folk Festival, Inc.