Performing at the Festival

Attention Performers: Thank you for performing at the 45th Annual Folklife Festival. Continue reading for information regarding:



  • From I-5 North or South, take the Mercer St. Exit and follow signs to Seattle Center. (I-5 exits can get backed up, so you may want to use alternate routes like Hwy 99)
  • From Hwy 99 (Aurora Ave.) going south, turn right on Roy St., left on 3rd Ave.
  • From Hwy 99 going north (at 1st & Bell), take the Western Ave. Exit, turn right at Broad St, proceed to Seattle Center.


  • Parking at Seattle Center can be challenging, so please plan accordingly.
  • Vehicles under 7’7” high can park in the Mercer Garage. Vehicles over 7’7” high can park in the 5th Avenue parking lot as space permits. Vehicles over one stall wide are not allowed in this lot.
  • All street parking in the area has been converted to pay parking.
  • There is no bus parking in the 5th Avenue lot. School bus parking is located along 1st Avenue N, west of Key Arena.
  • Please take your valuables with you. The parking garages and street parking are high theft areas.


  • Northwest Folklife has a Performer Travel Reimbursement Policy for one-way travel for those travelling outside the city of Seattle. Reimbursement forms are available at Performer Registration and must be submitted by 8:00pm, Monday, May 30. Late requests will not be considered.
  • Reimbursements are paid at $.30 per mile for approved driven travel miles.
  • All forms of transportation other than car require original receipts.  You may submit separate requests for separate vehicles, but not separate requests for individual performers.
  • The maximum travel reimbursement is $150 per vehicle / ticket purchased and up to $500 per group.
  • Please carpool – Mileage reimbursement is based on four performers per vehicle.

PERFORMER REGISTRATION, outside Hospitality:

  • Group leaders please share this information with your group and Send one group member to Registration to check in and pick up VIP buttons for your group.
  • You should register at least one hour before your performance and must register each day you perform.
  • Performer Registration hours:

9:00am to 8:30pm


9:00am to 10:00pm


9:00am to 8:30pm


9:00am to 8:00pm


  • Arrive at the stage at least 40 minutes before your performance time, or time listed on your letter.
  • Review your technical requirements as outlined in your application with the stage manager. Tech support not requested in advance may be difficult or impossible to provide.
  • Speak with the MC who will introduce you.
  • If you plan to use a CD during your performance, please test it at home in a CD player, not a computer, prior to giving it to your stage manager.
  • The time shown on your confirmation letter is your performance time. It does not include set up time. We allow transition time between performances.
  • You must keep your performance within the time limits.  If you go over your time or don’t listen to your stage manager, it will affect all of the performers following you as well as your ability to return to the Festival in future years.
  • ENCOURAGING DONATIONS:You have the stage. Please encourage donations! Thank you! This festival can continue only with community support, and your help toward that goal is outstanding!
    • Performers, communities, volunteers and donors make the Folklife Festival community-powered.
    • There is no admission charge thanks to your donations of $10!
    • Show your love for Folklife: donate today.


  • At each venue, there will be a merchandise area with signage that audience members will be directed to and which will be promoted from the stage.
  • Performers can sell before, during and after their sets. Please share the table with other performers.
  • The City of Seattle requires you have a temporary business license if you will be selling merchandise. If you need a City of Seattle temporary business license, they will be available for purchase in Performer Registration for $5 per performance day. Exact change in cash or check only.
  • Digital links to online CD sales will be promoted in the online biographies of each artist and by the MC at the performance. This link will be available all year for audience members to purchase


  • VIP Buttons – Every participant at Folklife is an important factor to keep the Festival running, so we have changed our Hospitality buttons to VIP buttons. Same rules apply- each button allows one additional guest into the Hospitality area.
  • Instrument check, water, soda, coffee, tea and beer are available in the Hospitality Lounge. We charge a nominal fee for beer (serving from noon-close), but non-alcoholic beverages are free.
  • Hospitality hours:

9:00am to10:00pm


9:00am to 11:00pm


9:00am to 10:00pm


9:00am to 9:00pm


The following secure checkroom is free to Festival participants with your performer confirmation letter or your VIP button. You may check things in and out throughout the weekend.  You are strongly discouraged from storing things overnight. Northwest Folklife is not responsible for lost, damaged or stolen items.  Please note that there is NO checkroom in the Armory.

  • Seattle Center Pavilion B (Hospitality Lounge) checkroom is open: Friday from 11:00am to 10:15pm, Saturday from 10:00am to 11:15pm, Sunday from 10:00am to 10:15pm, and Monday from 10:00am to 9:15pm.
  • If there is a dressing room available at your assigned stage, it will be listed on your confirmation letter. Please do not use Seattle Center restrooms as dressing rooms.


  1. Post your appearance at Folklife on your website or eNews along with any other gigs
    1. Remember it’s the Northwest Folklife Festival, not Folk Life, or FolkLife, or the Seattle Folk Festival, etc.
    2. Here is some sample text of how you might want to announce your show:
      Come see me at the 2016 Northwest Folklife Festival (May 27-30) at Seattle Center! I will be performing on the XXX Stage at X:XX AM/PM. You can see a full lineup of Festival events at their website, . And remember, thanks to your donations Folklife does not charge for admission! #MyFolklife
  2. Post information about when you’re performing on your personal or band Facebook page. Consider creating an event (hosted under either your personal page or your band/organization’s page) where your followers can RSVP and connect. Remember to tag Northwest Folklife! #MyFolklifE


Click here to learn more!

See you at the Festival! Still have questions? Email our programming team now or call us at (206) 684-4189.