Only 259 days away: The 50th Annual Alaska Folk Festival, April 7-13, 2025

Guest Artists

Each year The Alaska Folk Festival hires 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.

Guest Artists are a Board Decision

The criteria below is used by the AFF Board to make a determination the summer prior to the next event. Guest artist selections are based on strong recommendations and adequate information. If you are interested in performing at the festival, please look at the Performer page for more information.

We cannot respond to everyone who wants to be our guest artist. If we did not contact you, we welcome your application as a performer but you are not under consideration as a guest artist.

Guest Artist Criteria

  • Must be source people, having a direct connection to a musical tradition. 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 received artist suggestions who turned out to have died.