Performer Application

Performer Application

Performer Application


2017 festival applications closed 30th May 2016.

Youth artists (U25) will be able to apply until the 30 September 2017 for a chance to play a 30 minute set in the Youth Concerts on Friday or Saturday of the festival. Youth performers will receive a free Day Pass. Youth performers under 18 need to be accompanied by a parent. One free parent pass will also be issued. Link to the form is at the end of this page.

Please read all the following information prior to deciding to apply. The link to the Expression of Interest form is at the end of this page.


The 33rd Illawarra Folk Festival is to be held from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January 2018.

Other linked (Fringe Events) activities include Folk School (Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th January), the Green Music Train (Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st January) and Honk! Oz (dates to be advised).

If you would like to keep up to date on folk happenings in the Illawarra area and the Illawarra Folk Festival sign up to our newsletter or follow our facebook page.

We also encourage membership of our Illawarra Folk ClubFolk Alliance Australia, Folk Federation of NSW, and Australia’s Folk Music Magazine Trad&Now.

David De Santi, Russell Hannah, Graeme Morrison
2018 Illawarra Folk Festival Booking Committee

About the Festival
Artist's Responsibilities
Family Pass Discounts
Fee Advice
Folk Summer School
Green Music Train
International Acts
Selection Criteria
Sound Samples
Sound System & Band Volumes

About the Festival

The 33rd Illawarra Folk Festival is to held at the Bulli Showground from Thursday lunchtime (18th January 2018) to Sunday evening (21st January 2018). Click here to see an overview of the festival.

There are a number of early warm-up events such as Folk School (Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th January), an Aussie Bush Dance and welcome concert on Wednesday (17th January).

Thursday includes a Charity Fundraising Concert, Dinner Italian Style, Tripe Dinner and Folk Concert and a number of concerts.

The festivals get into full swing from Friday morning to Sunday evening in 12 venues.

The Folk School is a short distance from the main festival site. Students and tutors are welcome.

We are looking for folk music acts who will be part of the event and be involved not only in concerts but also Folk School, the Green Music Train, sessions, singalongs, workshops, theme concerts, dances, parades and childrens events where possible.

The Illawarra Folk Festival is an event which exubes 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. On-site accommodation for artists will be available from Wednesday 17th January.

All artist fees quoted are to be totally inclusive of all costs such as GST, travel, visas, meals.

Artist's Responsibilities

  • 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 and follow the links to 'insurance'. You need to be or become a member of Folk Alliance Australia.
  • 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. These rates are not for managers, roadies, uncles, aunties, grandparents, children over 18... so please don't ask for them.

  • 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.

Fee Advice

The following will give artists some advice as to what is generally provided for remuneration for the whole festival, not per performance.  For this fee we expect artists to be available for the whole of the festival.  You are welcome to ask for what you want, but this gives you an idea of what we are expecting and is acceptable within our budget.

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 greatly reduced prices (see Family Pass Discounts).

Base Local Fees - Whole Festival

  • Single artist - $100
  • Duo - $150
  • Band - $200 to $600 dependant on the number of members
  • Dance groups, choirs - up to $150 or Season Tickets. A Day Pass is provided if performances are on one day only.

Base Local Fees - Single Day (one gig)

  • Single artist - $40
  • Duo - $80
  • Band - $150

Base Sydney Fees - Whole Festival

  • Single artist - $150
  • Duo - $200
  • Band - $400 to $900 dependant on the number of members
  • Dance group, choirs - up to $250 or Season Tickets. A Day Pass is provided if performances are on one day only.

Other Australian Act Fees
Artists who are not local or Sydney based might like to consider the base fees for local artists and then add the travelling costs to arrive at a figure.

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.

Folk Summer School

The festival is always looking for tutors for the Folk School that is held on the Wednesday and Thursday of the festival. Selected tutors are provided $80 for each session they present. You can indicate your interest in the application form. 

Green Music Train

The festival is always looking for acts to be part of the Green Music Trains from Sydney Central.  Generally, there are 8 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 50 minutes.  You can indicate your interest in the application form. 

International Acts

There are only a limited number of international acts we accept who generally are visiting Australia. We do not provide airfares but minimal expenses. International acts are also to arrange their own visas.  We do provide accommodation either with a billet or an on-site tent.

Selection Criteria

We select acts mainly by the following criteria:

a) Type of Material - Folk style acts are preferred, with minor inclusion of other musical elements. We generally don't book acts who solely perform Blues, Jazz, Acoustic Pop or Country as we find there are more than enough 'folk style' acts around to fill our spots.

b) 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. Acts who can stay for the whole festival and participate in sessions and the general festival atmosphere are also highly considered.

c) Price - 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. We have provided some guidance as to what you might quote below. You are still welcome to provide the fee you like.

d) International Acts - We provide modest fees only and do not provide airfares or arrange visas. Large groups should seek their own funding from their countries or other sources.

e) Partners - We provide large discounted rates for artist's partners and children - providing their details are supplied in the application in advance. We do not provide any additional tickets for other guests.

f) Street acts, Buskers - 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.

g) Volunteering - 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.

h) Support for the Folk Music Scene in Australia – We also like to support acts that support their local and national folk music scene. There are some questions in the application that reflect this such as are you a member of the Illawarra Folk Club, another folk club/organisation; have you attended/performed at other folk music events; are you a member of Folk Alliance Australia or a subscriber to Trad&Now.

Please note that the Festival is run by volunteers including a number of musicians and dancers and survives solely on ticket sales and sponsorship, and through their goodwill. Artist who offer to volunteer as well as perform are looked upon favourably.

All performance fees submitted are to include GST if applicable and all other costs including travel costs to get to and from the Festival site.

Sound Samples

It is not essential to send a CD recording if you have a website with sound samples (eg Myspace, Reverbnation, Soundcloud).

Otherwise please send a CD recording to:

Graeme Morrison, PO Box 101, Albion Park, NSW, 2527

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 Director may intervene if stage volumes are high and are interfering with other venues.

Please consider the above information before applying if you are a loud band!

Click here for the Expression of Interest Application Form (for Youth Artists only)

General 2017 festival artist applications closed 30 May 2016.

2018 festival applications will open in late March 2017 and close 30 May 2017.

Youth Artists applications close 30 September 2017.

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