The nearly-final details for the 2016 FAR-West Music Conference have been proudly announced by Conference Coordinators Jeanette Lundgren and Mark Kaufman and the organizing committee known as the Movers and Shakers. The 13th Annual FAR-West Music Conference will be held October 13 – 16, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, WA.
The four-day-plus conference is a wonderful opportunity for the music and folk arts community to gather to make music, dance, tell stories, make business connections through networking, exchange ideas and collaborate, learn new things and enjoy the fellowship of like-minded friends, both old and new.
There is SO much going on at the Conference, that to call anything a "highlight" is an injustice to all the other activities! Whether you are looking to be entertained, or be educated, to line-up new gigs or discover new acts, to network or to make new friends and party, there is something happening for you all day and night. The most common complaint is lack of sleep!
After registration, which starts at 4:00 pm, Thursday evening really gets jumping with the first of four live performances open to the general public. The Venues’ Choice Concert at 7:00 pm features five of the best acoustic music venues in the Pacific Northwest, each presenting their favorite acts. Details can be found here: http://www.far-west.org/venues-choice2016.html
Friday and Saturday nights’ open-to-the-public events are the Official Showcases featuring twelve of the best acoustic acts touring the western region. These acts were chosen by a two-tiered judging process from which acts were chosen from a large pool of applicants. FAR-West and the Conference organizers are thrilled with the quality, diversity and professionalism of the acts that have been chosen for this year’s showcase. The schedule of performances and a brief description of each act appearing are at this link: http://www.far-west.org/os2016lineup.html
The final event at the FAR-West Music Conference that is open to the public is Sunday afternoon’s Storytelling Expo with a theme of "Telling the Story, Singing the Song." Seven master storytellers from the PNW will present tales from the places where stories intersect songs to put a close to this year’s Conference. The schedule with details are found here: http://www.far-west.org/storytelling2016.html
Tickets for all these open-to-the-public events can be purchased in advance here: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2545725
Those are just the events that the public can attend. Many of the most rewarding Conference experiences are only available for those registered at the Conference. Attendees can learn new skills and strategies from an interesting array of panels and workshops which fill the mornings and early afternoons on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday and Saturday afternoons the Susanne Millsaps Coffeehouse offers in-the-round performing opportunities with a stage and professional sound. On Saturday, the Best of the West Awards Luncheon will honor Danny O’Keefe as our Performer Honoree and Peter McCracken and the Centrum Foundation as our Ambassador Honoree. Also the Seattle Folklore Society will receive an Organizational Achievement Award in recognition of 50 years of service to preserve and foster awareness and appreciation of folk and traditional arts in the Seattle area. The Networking Center is where performers and related businesses can meet, get to know each other and do business while it is open mid to late afternoon on Friday and Saturday. Another chance for attendees to mingle and get to know each other will occur on late Friday afternoon at our Welcome Reception in the Evergreen Foyer. But late nights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday is when the fun really kicks into high gear. From 10:30 pm until 2:00 am, two floors of hotel rooms are turned into mini music venues with performances in all the rooms simultaneously, including the New Voices Showcase for first-time attendees. These Private Guerilla Showcase performances are the best chance to get up-close and personal with the amazing variety of artists that make up FAR-West. And for those that STILL haven’t got their fill of fun, late night jam sessions begin when the PGS end and usually go until the sun rises! Finally, on Sunday morning we have a Breakfast General Meeting that ties together all the loose ends of an always-memorable weekend.
Pre-Conference discount registration is still open until October 5th and walk-up registration will be available at the Conference. For registration, please visit http://www.far-west.org/registration-2016.html. For more information about the Conference or FAR-West in general please visit our website at http://www.far-west.org