This article examines the different types of showcases that make up the performer presentation component of the annual NERFA conference. If you are a seasoned NERFA conference attendee, feel free to jump right to the Conference registration Menu on the left. If not or you wish to receive a refresher on what each showcases is all about and how the registration and selection process works, please read on.
NERFA hosts four showcases within the hotel conference facilities; the Formal, Tricentric and Private Showcases. A fourth showcase category, the Guerrilla Showcase, is held in pre-selected blocks of hotel rooms and is hosted by the room's occupant.
The juried Formal Showcase is the premier and most coveted showcase performance time slot at the NERFA conference. Only 14 performance slots are available - 7 on Friday and 7 on Saturday. Each performance slot is 15 minutes. The biggest advantage of winning a performance slot is NOTHING else is allowed to go on during the Formal Showcase - not even Guerrilla showcases in the hotel rooms. You or your group have the undivided attention of the rest of the conference attendees
The Formal Showcase is held in the International Ballroom between 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM each night. The theater is the largest performance area in the hotel. Professional sound, lighting and production services are provided by Mountaintop Productions and your performance is mixed and recorded by a professional recording engineer for your archives or other uses as you see fit.
The application process to the Formal Showcase is open to all. However, everyone appearing in the showcase must be registered for the conference and be a member of the Folk Alliance International. Application fees for the showcase are broken into two parts. All applicants must pay the initial application fee of either $25 for FAI members or $45 for non FAI members. Only the winners of the jury selection process who have confirmed their appearance in the Formal Showcase pay an additional $75 production fee. They must also register for the conference (if not already registered) and confirm their membership in the Folk Alliance International.
Further details and other requirements can be found in the Formal Showcase application form when available on this website.
The Tricentric Showcases are also juried and occur immediately after the Formal Showcase each night from 9:45 PM to 11:30 PM. These three concurrently running showcases are held in the Conference Center in three different rooms. Each performance slot is 15 minutes long. A total of 15 performance slots are available each night. Like the Formal Showcase, nothing else is allowed to go on while the Tricentrics are in operation.
Professional sound and production services are also provided but no archive recording is performed. (If you bring your own small recording device, the sound engineer will gladly connect it to the mixer board if outlets are available).
The application process is open to everybody but as with all of the showcases at NERFA, everyone appearing in the showcase must be registered for the conference and must be a member of the Folk Alliance International. The Tricentric Showcase also has a two-part registration fee: $15 for FAI members ($25 if you are not an FAI member) is payable with each application and an additional $25 production fee is due if you are chosen and confirm your appearance. Confirmed winners must also register for the conference (if not already registered) and confirm their membership in the Folk Alliance International.
Further details and other requirements can be found in the Tricentric Showcase application form on this website when available.
Once the Tricentric Showcases are over, conference rooms will be available with sound systems and engineers for "rent" for hosting a Private Showcase. These rooms are available only on Friday and Saturday night between 11:45 PM to 1:30 AM.
As the sponsor of the showcase, it is your responsibility for booking acts, producing and MCing the showcase. Since the Guerrilla Showcases will be starting at the same time, it is also your responsibility to attract your audience to the Private Showcase area.. NERFA will plug your showcase during the Tricentric set changes in an effort to help you direct your potential audience to your conference area.
Each Private Showcase venue rents for $300 which includes the sound system and engineer.
The registration process is open to everybody but as with all of the showcases at NERFA, everyone appearing in the showcase must be registered for the conference and must be a member of the Folk Alliance International.
The fifth and last type of showcase at NERFA is the Guerrilla Showcase. These showcases are held in the lower hotel room floors. (The upper floors are reserved as a quiet - no music zone). Guerrilla showcases are only permitted during Thursday late night, Friday afternoon, Friday late night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday late night. You must submit a registration form and pay for each time period. You must also register for the conference and submit a hotel reservation for your Guerilla Showcase room.
Included with your Guerrilla Showcase registration fee is a listing of all performers in your showcase time slot.
Guerilla Showcases are acoustic ONLY! No amplification devices are permitted. Exemptions to this rule for instruments such as electronic keyboards must be approved on a one-by-one basis. Setting up your showcase space within your hotel room is your responsibility. IT IS ALSO YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO RETURN THE HOTEL ROOM TO ITS ORIGINAL CONFIGURATION BEFORE CHECKOUT.
The registration process is open to everybody but as with all of the showcases at NERFA, everyone appearing in the showcase must be registered for the conference in advance and must be a member of the Folk Alliance International.
The hotel can provide chairs for your showcase at a nominal fee including delivery. The "Guerrilla Chair Request" form will be available closer to the start of the event once room numbers are assigned to each showcase. The list will be published on the website.