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Folk Alliance Region-West (FAR-West) / Press

“The FAR-West (Folk Alliance Region West) Music Conference was, as expected, totally inspiring, encouraging and educational. In addition it was a wonderful reunion with folks from the music scene in Seattle, the Pacific NW and beyond. Many lifetimes converged in that one space and time. Some new lifetimes were born too......”

“First time at this conference! I found it to be inspiring, informative, manageable, welcoming, and fun! Staff was friendly, helpful, and felt like a true community. Will definitely go back.”

“Sean and I had a great conference. I had a ball speaking at two panels, the official showcase sound and stage crew were top notch, and we had a blast at the private showcases as well as the luncheon and other events. And just like being on the road, the best part is making new friends.”

“I came to the FAR-West Conference feeling a little like a “red headed step child,” as the old timers use to say. I’m a storyteller, a radio host, not a musician. In five minutes I was welcomed with open arms and left feeling part of a fun, diverse, magnificent community. If you are a musician, dancer, teller or curious person rush to the 2017 conference. If you watch, listen, love any of it, buy tickets to the Showcases. It’s everything a conference should be and more than you can imagine. Just go, I’m mighty glad I did.”

“The Far West Folk conference was heartwarming and fun. I’m so grateful that I get to attend gatherings like this. I was so busy there….rarely slept, ate irregularly…go,go,go loving every minute. All I had to do was get there, register and show up to the concert, showcase, workshop or jam in the foyer with a fiddle, banjo, three part harmony and guitar. Each one offered superb entertainment and or learning experience. It was mingling, encouraging and being nice. It was a safe environment with nary a negative word. At the final breakfast each volunteer stood. It looked like one half of crowd had volunteered in some giant or small capacity.”

“I want to thank you for the great conference….you all were so friendly and welcoming to us Coloradoans. It meant a lot. Of course having a great hotel really can make or break these things (and the Hyatt is wonderful), but the attendees and thoughtfully planned schedule really did it for us.”

“I just came home from my first FAR-West conference and a week later, I'm still on Cloud 9. I met so many amazing people, shared wonderful stories and songs, learned so much from the workshops, and (amidst this crazy election season) had my faith in humanity restored. What a wonderful experience! Thanks to everyone who organized and volunteered at this fantastic event. I can't wait until next year.”

“At the FAR-West (Folk Alliance Region West) conference: Picture an entire floor of a hotel on which all of the guest rooms, late at night, become micro concert venues. You walk down the hall, hear amazing sounds coming out of each doorway, duck into a room, and get to be part of an audience of two or three or six people listening to an incredibly talented musician or band. Repeat every half hour until 2 AM. Can you imagine anything better than that?”

“I went to a Folk Music 'Conference' last weekend and a 'Community' broke out. Just the Friendliest group of people, hanging out, trading songs, smiles, hugs, and just a fine, FINE time from sun up to sun down...well, from about 10am to 4am anyways---folks HAD to sleep sometime...Kudos to all the AMAZING artists who played (and inspired me to be better), the myriad of volunteers who did so much to make things run smoothly, and especially to the board and staff who spent so many hours making the event 'Happen'.”

“I'm about to embark on my spring tour...Many of these shows were booked directly because of the FAR-West community, so thank you all so much for that!”

“What an incredible weekend! Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to organize this wonderful event. The music played, conversations shared, and community built all brought so much joy! This girl from Kansas felt very welcomed into the FAR-West!”

“Being an organizer on a small scale with a small venue, I have some idea of the work and time it took to organize Far West. It was a beautifully run conference and I personally thank you for all your efforts in supporting the promotion of acoustic music. It truly is a labor of love and I for one appreciate that very much.”

“We, Chappell & Dave Holt, had another wonderful year at FAR-West, our 4th time. We were delighted to volunteer with our old boss, Tom Hubbard, had a great time in Millsapswith Bum Wagler, enjoyed so many high level performances by our esteemed colleagues, were hosted by some wonderful PGS's, felt the Networking Center was time well spent, renewed old friendships and made new ones, met in person a number of Facebook virtual friends, came home happy and exhausted. Spent 2 days in recovery! .... Thank you all for making this such a wonderful conference, I know how much work the volunteers who devote themselves to FAR-West do. High praise to you all!”

“This was my first time at FAR-West and I've never been at anything like it. Complete strangers welcomed me into their world, that is now my world. There was so much talent, so much kindness, as people shared their stories, their music, and themselves. I am grateful for this experience and thank you, Jeanette, for talking me into going!”

“.....how grateful we all are for the dedicated hard work of all of you who put on such a great conference. You ALL are so appreciated and I for one really admire and respect each of you on the Board and all other volunteers, but especially the Movers and Shakers. You guys really rock. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“It's not so often that one's highest expectations are exceeded, but the FAR-West Conference certainly exceeded mine. What a nice feeling in the air all week, and a great chance to meet and talk with so many diversely talented folks.”

“We can't wait to be back at FAR West this year! Thanks for putting together such a productive, informative and fun conference!”

“I have been to many National Folk Alliance Conferences, NERFAs, SWRFAs, and FAR-Wests .and maybe I'm prejudiced because it's my home conference, but FAR-West has the most heart and the most soul of any. <It's> a true credit to the folks who put it on and the musicians who attend.”

“Thank you for creating such a beautiful conference. I'm still basking in the spirit of mutual encouragement and goodwill just as much as the music. Great to see, meet, and hear so many dear people all in one place. Looking forward to Oakland and to crossing paths again and again as part of the extended community of song.”

“My husband James and I had such a wonderful time and had the most response from FAR-West than any other Folk Alliance event we have attended. It was also our first time having a booth in a Networking Centre and turned out to be a wonderful investment and something we'll have the confidence to do again as a result. We have 12 solid offers as a result of my showcase there and made some wonderful new discoveries. I'm so glad to have found out about Barbara Dane. She's a treasure. I also wanted to commend the sound and stage crew for all their hard work. The sound and stage organization, timing, etc. was impeccable.”

“It was my first time and I was totally amazed and overwhelmed by the experience. The music was outstanding! The production team perfect! Generally everything I experienced from the networking booth to the official showcase to the PGS rooms was excellent. Looking forward to next year!”

“Adding to the chorus of thanks for a full, fun weekend. Pleased to be part of a community as deeply-talented and wide-ranging as ours.”

“I'm so grateful to be a part of this community. Thanks so much to each of you who make it happen and all your efforts. Once again, the good vibes will feed me `til we see each other again...thank you, thank you... aireene q. espiritu”

“Thank you to the Board, the volunteers, my PGS hosts, my mentors, my wonderful brothers and sisters in song. The community, inspiration and camaraderie you provide is unparalleled. I have a VERY hard time explaining this to the people in my other life.”

“My wife Kathy and I had a wonderful time at the FAR-West conference last month. We’ve been going to ... Folk Alliance conventions since the 90’s and the FAR-West is like coming home for me, since I’m from Salinas, CA and I began my musical career on the west coast so many years ago. I’d have to say that the Oakland FAR-West at the Marriott was really well attended and the venue was centrally located. Scheduling was well prepared and the volunteers certainly deserve a big thanks for all their help. There were so many talented artist and musicians doing showcases that we had a hard time catching up with everyone. I really enjoyed the radio panel that I was on and it was such a pleasure to be a part of it. We’re really looking forward to seeing all our old friends and making some new ones next year. We’ll be at the Kansas City Convention in February and we’ll see you again in Oakland in the fall.”

“I have had the pleasure and privilege of singing and sharing my songs and stories with many audiences both large and small, schooled and unschooled. What I can tell you (from my experience of standing on the Official Showcase stage) is WOW! I have NEVER played for an audience that was SO INTO the music and really wanting a performer to succeed, shine.”

“Another heavenly three days of conferencing… because they allow me to have the time of my life annually.”

“After having an excellent and rewarding experience at last year's FAR-West in Irvine, Laurel and I decided to pull out all the stops and make sure we return to FAR-West again as often as possible starting this year! We were absolutely thrilled earlier this summer when notified we had been chosen to perform in an Official Showcase! (FAR-West) is a wonderful conference full of friends new and old, learning experiences and an explosion of great music that really resonates. It is beyond an honour to perform there and we're humbled by the amazing opportunity to share our music. I really enjoy being around so many like-minded people for a solid weekend as I'm sure you all do as well.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed my first Folk Alliance conference, and already pre-registered for next year's.”

“From my completely subjective point of view, this was probably the best FAR-West of the 5 I've attended... The lineups at the Venues' Choice and Official Showcases were stellar, the venue-oriented workshops were very helpful.”

“I am having trouble finding adequate words to express my deepest gratitude to every single amazing person I encountered this past week at my first Far-West . I was completely humbled by the kindness, warmth and welcoming energy of the Far-West community. I was utterly in awe of how well the conference was run and so impressed by all that you do so right.”

"Now that we've actually slept a bit, we'd like to thank EVERYONE for creating the amazing heartfelt experience that we all shared. To create an event like this takes vision, heart, commitment, and cooperation. We're glad to see that this organization has that in abundance."