General Conference Info

NOTE: The information below is all related to our 2019 Conference. We’ve left it here so you can see what we’re all about. Information about our 2020 conference will be updated periodically over the next couple months.

Click the boxes below for more info. It’s a work in progress so feel free to reach out to if you have questions that are not answered here.

Conference Director's Welcome Message

To those of you attending for the first time, we’re honored you’ve decided to join us and hope you’ll be so gratified by your experience that you’ll make plans to return as often as possible. For our returning and veteran attendees, we’re equally honored to have you continue along on this journey with us. Last year’s attendance broke all records and we’re on target to match those numbers again.

Taking a look back at last year, we featured several exceptional men in our spotlight events. Our Keynote Speaker, Award recipients and Wisdom of the “Daves” to name a few. This year, we’re thrilled to be hearing from a handful of inspiring women who have made their mark in our folk music community, including Tret Fure as our Keynote Speaker, our two worthy award recipients and a discussion with 5 outstanding women in our “Wisdom of the Dames” segment.

We made a few adjustments based on the feedback we received in our post conference survey. A number of you felt the smaller size of one of the Performance Lane rooms was unfair so we’ve addressed this concern by adjusting the rooms to make them all equal. Some of you felt the program booklet could have been more user friendly – so we hope you’ll notice improvements there – starting with the Table of Contents to the right. Friday night’s community dinner was well received and many of you wanted more so we added Saturday night dinner. We also fixed the DJ panel and reception to allow for a more focused presentation, our open mics will all be in the Grand Centennial Ballroom designed for dedicated listening and we’ve worked on the signage to help you find your way more easily.

I also said this last year but it bears repeating. You may not walk away having booked a whole Midwest tour – very few actually book anything AT the conference, but if you show up with a generous and positive attitude you’ll make a lot of new friends and allies in this crazy music business. We work hard to create a setting that helps nurture and build relationships. So instead of focusing on booking the gig, try making connections; instead of focusing on your own success, try helping a newbie or mentoring someone with less experience than you; instead of trying to show what you CAN do, think about learning from others what you COULD do. Trade feelings of intimidation for inspiration. Trade feelings of competition for community. Exposure is good, Experience is better!

Above all, enjoy yourself!!!
We’re gonna make some incredible music together this weekend!

Annie Capps
FARM Conference Director


ALL ACCESS NAME BADGES are required for entrance to any of the 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 only $20 per night. ALL PERFORMERS MUST HAVE THE ALL ACCESS CREDENTIALS if you’re performing at any time over the weekend.

REGISTRATION opens at noon on Thursday and 9:00am on Friday & Saturday. It is located just inside the Atrium. There will be a volunteer available at or near the registration desk to answer questions.

Did you forget to purchase something at the time you registered? Looking for where to buy a T-Shirt? Need to order a Showcase Video? Most everything you need to pay for can be found in the FARM Store.


DISPLAY TABLES are provided without 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.


This year we included both Friday AND Saturday night dinner with all registrations. Dinner will be buffet style served in the main conference area with overflow seating and in the Thornapple room. Breakfast buffet for Friday, Saturday & Sunday is ONLY available to those who purchased in advance and will be served in the Grand Centenial Ballroom. The opportunity to sit and socialize is well worth the extra cost. A limited number will be available to purchase on site.


MENTOR SESSIONS Mentors are experienced individuals who are volunteering to meet with you and let you 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.


PERFORMANCE LANE will be held in the Salon Rooms B, E & G located down the hall from the Private Showcase Floor. The schedule is 10 minutes unplugged with no break between performers. Moderators WILL cut you off mid-song if you don’t end on time so prepare your set just shy of that 10 minutes.


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. PLEASE BE COURTEOUS and take conversation to the lobby or the area outside the showcase floor. This year the private showcase schedule has it’s own separate program sorted by Room, Artist and Time slot for your convenience.


We have several open mic opportunities at the conference. Drop your name in the bowl or bowls near registration for a chance to perform. All names will be drawn at the beginning of the open mic. If you’re not in attendance, another name will be drawn. Official & DJ showcase artists are excluded from performing in the open mics.

More info here 


We have been making an effort to reduce the amount of paper waste but we recognize the desire to promote yourself and your showcases. You are welcome to post your signs, posters and showcase schedules no larger than 8.5 x 11 in the following designated areas:

  • Anywhere you can find wall space in the Atrium (excluding the workshop rooms and grand ballroom)
  • Private Showcase Hallway

You must use painters tape or some other removable adhesive. Some painters tape is available at Registration desk.


  Located in the Ontario Room, all weekend long, the Dropzone 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 each presenter or DJ is accepting. i.e. “CDs only” or “Anything you got”. Please honor these guidelines and only drop what they request.


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


JAMMING and SONG CIRCLES are encouraged throughout the conference. as long as the volume doesn’t interfere with conference or other hotel activities. The common areas in the lobby (until 10pm) and conference levels, conference rooms when not in use, are all available for impromptu jams and song swaps. Late night jams & song circles are ONLY allowed in the Salons, located down the hall from the Private Showcase floor.


SHOWCASE VIDEOS As in the past, showcases are being filmed and will be available for purchase. More information on this will be available at the registration desk.


Check out this page for other cool things happening.

Other Stuff of Interest

FARM 2019 Program

FARM 2019 T-Shirts!

2019 Tote Bags

Our tote bags were very popular last year so we decided to go for the same style but in a different color. These bags are yours for as long as you want them but if you’re not the type to use a bag like this post conference, we will gladly take them back to recycle for next year.

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