2022 Sponsors!

GOLD Level

  • Nancy Clark
  • Bruce Hirsch
  • Two Way Street Coffee House

Silver Level

  • Loretta Sawyer Acoustic Arts
  • Wheatland Music Org

Bronze Level

  • Al Kniola
  • Steve Madewell
  • Kari Estrin
  • Art Menius Radio
  • Folknet
  • Dennis Warner Music

Friends of FARM

  • Andy Cohen Riverlark Music / Earwig Music
  • Amy Dixon-Kolar
  • Howard Dolginoff/ Labyrinth Concerts
  • David HB Drake Organic Arts
  • Mark Dvorak
  • Sue Fink
  • Laura A. Frawley
  • Tim Grimm
  • Lilli Kuzma
  • Sean Miller Blissfest Music Organization, Tip O The Mitt Songwriters, Michigan Music Alliance
  • Karen L Rigotti FARM Board
  • Joel Simpson Ashley & Simpson / Randomosity Records
  • Smitty Smith/ Pump House Concerts
  • John Stano
  • Patty & Craig
  • Mike Ward: Psychosongs

Overview & Map

One of the great benefits of this venue is that everything is located on the same floor. There are three convenient elevators to get from and to your sleeping room if you’re not on the first floor.

The conference area where most everything will take place during the day is called The Atrium. The large ballroom where the main stage events (awards, keynote, DJ showcase and official showcases) take place is called the Grand Centennial Ballroom. It’s on the right side as you walk into the Atrium. This room will double as our Breakfast Buffet dining room.

The “City” Rooms (Petoskey, Mackinac, Cheboygan, Harbor Springs, Saugatuck and Traverse City) are along the left side as you walk into the Atrium. Most of these rooms are where workshops will be held. Petoskey is the Instrument Check. Saugatuck is available for mentor sessions, or other special use TBD. During dinner on Friday night, the Cheboygan, Harbor and Saugatuck rooms will be converted to the Grand River Ballroom for seating.

The Salon rooms (Performance Lane and jams) and the Private Showcase rooms are located on the other side of the courtyard and pool area. You need to walk through a sleeping room hallway so be considerate during the late hours. We’re hoping to have mostly our people on this hallway. You can get to the Private Showcase rooms via the lobby as well.

Schedule at a Glance

Registration Desk

REGISTRATION opens at noon on Thursday just inside the Atrium. There will be a volunteer available at or near the registration desk to answer questions all day and evening.

ALL ACCESS NAME BADGES are required for entrance to any of the daytime conference events and are provided to all who have pre-registered. Walk-up registrations will be allowed. If someone would like to attend ONLY the evening showcases, we offer Taste of FARM for just $20 per night or $50 for all three.

ALL PERFORMERS MUST HAVE THE ALL ACCESS CREDENTIALS if you’re performing at any time over the weekend.

Exhibit Space

DISPLAY TABLES are provided FREE of charge, in the Atrium and other conference areas. Feel free to set out your press kits, cards, flyers, stickers or whatever merchandise you’d like to share for FREE. Please be economical with the space and leave some for the rest of the attendees. We’re also happy to have the Pete & Kate Farmer from Farmer Foot Drum (footdrum.com) and Jan Bloom of Bloom’s Banjos (bloomsbanjos.com) along with Ian Gorman of La Luna Studios (lalunarecording.com) participating in our first “Vendor” exhibit area. Their time with us is limited so be sure to make a point to visit them.


We are pleased to be able to offer a complimentary dinner buffet on Friday night to all registered attendees this year. It was something we thought we’d try in order to bring everyone together for at least one meal. As you can imagine, the logistics behind feeding 330+ attendees comes with some crafty planning by our hotel banquet team and we are really grateful to them for working with us to make the dinner go as smoothly as possible. Dinner set up will take place during Performance Lane on Friday so we can hit the buffet as soon as the last performers finish at 5:30p.  Dinner will be buffet style served in the Atrium with overflow seating in the Grand River Ballroom (City named breakout/workshop rooms combined). There will be 2 double-sided buffets to help get you through the line more quickly. This is the first time we’ve done this and it’s an experiment so we’ll see how it goes

Breakfast buffet on Friday & Saturday morning is ONLY available to those who purchased in advance and will be served in the Grand Centennial Ballroom. The opportunity to sit and socialize is well worth the extra cost. A limited number will be available to purchase on site for $35.00.

Taste of FARM

No, this has nothing to do with food. This option allows the public to enjoy the evening events and performances for a VERY low ticket price. More info at https://www.farmfolk.org/farm-gathering/taste-of-farm/

Awards & Keynote

Two extremely important events that you don’t want to miss. Both begin at 7pm in the Grand Centennial Ballroom on Friday (Awards) and Saturday (Keynote). More info on each can be found at these pages.

Excellence Awards

Keynote Address

Official and DJ Showcases

These events take place in the Grand Centennial Ballroom in the evenings. They are open to the public via the Taste of FARM option. Everything you need to know about each of them is on their own pages.

Official Showcases

DJ Showcase

Performance Lane

PERFORMANCE LANE will be held in the Salon Rooms which are located across the hall from the Private Showcase floor. Signage will direct you. The schedule is 10 minutes unplugged with no break between performers. We WILL cut you off mid-song so prepare your set just shy of that 10 minutes.

Half the fun of performance lane is trying to catch a little bit of every act. These rooms are all close enough together so listeners can quickly jump from one room to the next.

If this is your first year as a performer at FARM’s Performance Lane, you can expect folks to come and go during your set. This doesn’t mean they didn’t love what you did. Its just that they’re trying to catch another act who may be performing at the same time across the hall. (This goes for Private Showcases as well.)  Many will stay for your whole act and just as many will stay for just one song, moving from room to room.

NOTE: because the hallway is small and there are LOTS of you, we aren’t sure how the traffic flow will be in the hallway. If it proves too cramped, we may move Performance Lane to the workshop rooms on Saturday. Again, we’re in a new venue with a significantly larger attendance, so much will be learned on the fly. 

Private Showcases

PRIVATE SHOWCASES are held on a single hallway of rooms 101 -129 from 11:30 pm to 2:30 am each night. There will be plenty of signage to help you find your way.

There is a full schedule in the program but as always there may have been some additions or changes. You can view an updated schedule (courtesy of our friend B. Ryan B) at http://farmfolk.org/2018-private-showcase. This is sortable by time, room or performer!

We shouldn’t need to remind you of this but PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE and RESPECTFUL of the performers and those trying to listen to them.

Take conversations to the lobby or the area outside the showcase floor. You’ll see how convenient both of these locations are. Traffic in the hall is going to be nuts. If you are waiting to perform and can’t fit inside the room where you will be performing, stand as close to the wall as you can to keep traffic clear. If you MUST speak to someone, keep your voice to a whisper.

Performers, when you are finished with your set, pack up your stuff and get out of the way for the next performer. Its great that a venue wants to chat with you, but take the conversation out to the lobby or the area outside the showcase floor.

If you are in the audience and wish to talk with a performer, wait until they have finished packing up and take the conversation to the lobby or the area outside the showcase floor.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation!

Open Mics (NEW)!

We have 4 open mic opportunities at the conference this year. Most will be held in the Aryana bar & restaurant. They are all an hour long. Everyone gets 2 songs but no more than 10 minutes (including set up) so keep your songs to 4 minutes or less or just play one long song.

To sign up you’ll drop your name in the bowl or bowls near registration. All names will be drawn at the beginning of the open mic. If you’re not in attendance, another name will be drawn. All are welcome to sign up but we’ll give priority to those with few or no other showcases. When you sign up you’ll be asked to write the number of showcases you have on the ticket. Sorry but we’re asking anyone with a DJ or Official Showcase to sit these out. 

Jamming & Song Swaps

LATE NIGHT JAMS & SONG CIRCLES are allowed in the Salon rooms only. The Atrium will be closed after 11pm. We’ve been told by the hotel that the lobby is okay to jam in but it will be up to the night manager to shut it down if he feels the music is disruptive.

JAMMING and SONG CIRCLES are encouraged throughout the conference. The common areas in the lobby and conference rooms, (when not in use and definitely not during the workshops), are all available for impromptu jams and song swaps. Please be courteous and avoid loud jamming in the lobby during the open mics. Quiet song sharing is okay.

ABSOLUTELY NO JAMMING in the sleeping rooms at any time!

Mentor Sessions

A select group of attendees have agreed to volunteer their time for scheduled sessions where you can pick their brains for 15 minutes or so. This year the schedules will be set by the individual mentors. Sign-up sheets will be on a table near the registration desk. See the program insert for a list of mentors (subject to change). We recommend that you sign up early as these sessions usually fill up quickly.

While we did ask a few of our luminaries in advance, anyone at the conference who is willing, can be a mentor to another any time throughout the conference. If you know someone who’s brain you want to pick, find them and ask to meet.

Special Events

Each year we bring some other opportunities to see, hear and participate along with our usual activities of workshops and showcases. This year’s special events include: 


Located in the Ontario Room, all weekend long, the Drop Zone is a room full of boxes labeled with Venues or Radio stations for you to drop your CDs and/or One Sheets. The labels will indicate what materials each presenter or DJ is accepting. i.e. “CDs only” or “Anything you got”.

Please honor these guidelines and only drop what they request.

More information here

Instrument Storage

INSTRUMENT STORAGE is available in the Petoskey Room inside the Atrium. Check at the registration desk for hours and information.

ALL instruments must be checked out by 10:45pm or it’ll be stuck there over night. The Atrium area will be locked at 11pm. FOR EMERGENCY check out only, you can TEXT Cindy Morgan (517-449-0618), Smitty Smith (517-927-2100) or as a LAST RESORT, Annie Capps (734-330-5226).

Showcase Videos

As in the past, showcases are being filmed and will be available for purchase. Order forms will be available at the Registration desk.

The videos are single camera captures of the performances. The cost is $25 per artist.

Delivery is digital.

If you’d like to purchase all three evening events, unedited digital versions will be made available at $50 each. (DVDs will be at an additional cost and by special order)

Signage, Flyers, Posters, etc...

Please limit signage and poster hanging to the Private Showcase floor and the area just outside. The hallway between the Atrium and the Salons/Private Showcase area is off limits. If you do plan to hang a poster YOU MUST USE BLUE PAINTERS TAPE. PERIOD. NO EXCEPTIONS! 

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