2024 Festival Artist applications closed on 16 June 2023.
2025 Festival Artist applications will open in March 2024 and close 30 May 2024.
The application link was at the bottom of this page.
Performance Guidelines and Information
We’ve provided quite a bit of information below to give you an idea of the festival, its aims, some remuneration guidelines and other considerations.
2024 Illawarra Folk Festival co-Artistic Directors
About The 2024 Festival
The 37th Illawarra Folk Festival is to held at the Bulli Showground (10km north of Wollongong, NSW) from 4pm Friday 19 January 2024 to Sunday evening 21st January 2024. Click here to see an overview of the festival
The festival gets into full swing from Friday evening to Sunday evening in 6 venues all at the Bulli Showground.
The Illawarra Folk Festival is an event which exudes friendliness, participation and having a good time with new and old friends. Many of the artists camp on site, and some limited accommodation may be provided with billets.
The festival is always looking for tutors for the Folk School that is held on the Friday of the festival. Selected tutors are provided $100 for each session they present. You can indicate your interest in the application form. More details
Green Music Train (to be confirmed)
The festival is always looking for acts to be part of the Green Music Trains from Sydney Central. Generally, there are 6 carriages on 3 selected train services on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival. A selected number of festival acts will join the trains at Waterfall station to entertain the train travellers for around 45 minutes. You can indicate your interest in the application form. More details
Artists accept responsibility for their own Public Liability Insurance. When performing, you are a Festival service provider and as such, are not covered by the Festival’s public liability insurance. We suggest investigating insurance options with Folk Alliance Australia, see www.folkalliance.org.au
Artists also accept all responsibility for their tax obligations, superannuation and WorkCover requirements.
Artists are to provide their own equipment such as guitar amps and drum kits. The festival does not provide backline equipment.
Artists are responsible for their meals and drinks. Water will be provided at stages.
Family Pass Discounts
If selected to perform at the festival, discounted passes for partners and young children (U18) will be available as follows. These rates are less than 40% of the full rate.
Artist’s Partner Season Pass – $45
Artist’s Partner’ Day Pass – $25
Artist’s Youth Child (12-17) Season Pass – $15
Artist’s Child (U12) Season Pass free
Artist’s Partner camping for whole festival – $15 (campsite is free)
Artist’s Youth child – camping $5
You may want to take these costs into account when providing the fee request in the application form.
Please read and keep the following in mind when considering your fee request:
- We are a volunteer-run festival and the fees we can accommodate are modest. We have built a great community over the past 35 years, with some local acts and community groups even donating their performance time to take part in the unique atmosphere that The Illawarra Folk Festival has to offer. We also understand that professional musicians offer their services for a set price.
- You are welcome to ask for what you would like, but we do have a budget to stick to, and this is a major consideration in the selection process. Although we cannot offer ‘Glastonbury-esque’ remuneration for your time, we do hope that participating in the festival will fill your cup in other ways.
- We provide free camping sites and, in some instances, may provide accommodation based upon circumstances. Partner and children passes are not provided but will be available at reduced prices (see Family Pass Discounts).
- All artist fees quoted are to be totally inclusive of all costs such as GST, travel, visas, meals
- In general, we want artists to be there for the majority of the festival and to provide 2 to 3 performances during their stay
- On-site accommodation for artists will be available from Thursday, 18th January 2024
International Act Fees
Fees are negotiable, but in general the offered fee can range anywhere between $500 and $2500 and more dependant on the number of artists in the act, suitability and appeal to the festival. Airfares are not provided by the festival. Artists are responsible for arranging their own visas, transport to and from the festival.
Youth Artists (U18)A Day Pass will be provided to Youth Artists who perform in the Youth Showcase Concerts. A Day Pass will be also provided for one parent. Prices for additional parent and siblings will be as per the Partner Pass rates above.
- Fees are negotiable, but in general, the offered fee can range anywhere between $500 and $3000 and is dependant on the number of artists in the act, suitability and appeal to the festival.
- The festival does not provide airfares.
- Artists are responsible for arranging their visas, insurance and transport to and from the festival.
- There are only a limited number of international acts we accept who generally are visiting Australia.
- We do provide accommodation either with a billet or an on-site tent.
We select acts mainly by the following criteria:
- Act Availability –
- The Festival officially starts at 4pm on Friday 19 January and ends at 10pm on Sunday 21 January.
- All acts selected are programmed across the festival days and are expected to be available for the entire Festival.
- Participation Level
- Involvement in Folk School, the Green Music Train, sessions, singalongs, workshops, theme concerts, dances, parades and children’s events where possible is a plus.
- Music Style
- Folk style acts are preferred, with minor inclusion of other musical genres.
- We generally don’t book acts who solely perform other music genres.
- Type of Performances
- Acts with workshops and theme presentations are always more favoured rather than just concert acts.
- Acts who can play for children and folk dancing are also sought, although not essential.
- Low to modest fees are provided dependent on the number of acts, performances proposed and where they are coming from.
- Very limited accommodation is available however there is plenty of camping space on the festival site.
- You need to indicate in the notes section if the fee proposed is negotiable as well.
- Street acts – are welcome to apply to perform, but please be aware that the focus of the festival and the limited funds are provided towards the musical aspect of the festival.
- We will welcome and look favourably upon acts who will also contribute by helping make the festival happen!
- We always need MCs, Venue Manager, Instrument Lockup staff and many other tasks. So please also consider strongly about volunteering.
- Support for the Folk Music Scene in Australia
- We also like to support acts that support their local and national folk music scene such as Folk Alliance Australia.
Audio and Video supporting evidence
We prefer online audio and video support material such as Youtube, Spotify, Soundcloud, Act website, and Facebook Artist Page (not personal).
If all you have is a CD, you can mail one to:
- Graeme Morrison, Illawarra Folk Club, PO Box 5289, Wollongong, NSW, 2500.
Sound Systems and Band Volumes
Please note that this is a traditional style folk festival with audience members of all ages. Many venues are close to each other, therefore the sound systems provided are not large and powerful, but more for clarity and reinforcement.
Please be aware that the Artistic Directors may intervene if stage volumes are high and are interfering with other venues.
Please consider before applying if you are a loud band!
All artist fees quoted are to be totally inclusive of all costs such as GST, travel, visas, meals.
In general we want artists to be there for the majority of the festival and to provide 2 to 3 performances during their stay.
On-site accommodation for artists will be available from Thursday 18th January 2024.