Booking guidelines

Overall Selection Guidelines

The CU Folk and Roots Festival booking committee, operating under direction of the CU Folk and Roots Festival steering committee, chooses artists to participate in each year’s festival according to the following criteria:

  • Artists chosen are seen as important to be included in CU Folk and Roots Festival or that make a positive contribution as determined by steering and/or booking committee
  • Artists chosen represent a wide variety of genres (not heavy on any particular genre unless there is a featured focus that year)
  • Artists chosen represent a diversity of ages, genders, races, backgrounds, political views, etc.
  • Artists chosen represent traditional and roots music of local interest and/or historical value
  • Artists chosen introduce emerging genres and innovative approaches
  • Artists chosen encourage audience to make connections and engage in active participation

Other guidelines:

  • As per CUFRF mission statement, local/regional artists will comprise a significant portion of total bookings.
  • If feasible, booking committee will collaborate with existing local organizations that may specialize in that particular genre or medium.
  • Booking committee has authority to place artists anywhere on schedule. It is the responsibility of the individual artist(s) to communicate with us if there are any constraints to their availability.

Local Performer(s) Guidelines

Same as above, with priority given to:

  • Performers who haven’t played in festival yet, or who haven’t played the past two years of the festival (rotation).
  • Performers who actively help promote their show at the festival via email lists, social media, flyers, etc.
  • Performers who have shown active support for festival and take pride in being part of the CU Folk and Roots community.
  • Artists who generate “buzz” and have proven they can draw crowds.
  • Performers who are willing to do workshops, lead jams, etc.
  • Performers who are easy to communicate with.

Regional/National bands Guidelines

Overall selection criteria applies, with priority given to:

  • Artists who haven’t performed in this area before, or have performed and CUFRF has interest in bringing them back.
  • Performers who agree not to play in the Champaign-Urbana area (in a public venue) for 8 days prior to and after festival.
  • Artists who contribute to the diversity of offerings at the festival.
  • Artists who generate “buzz” and have proven they can draw crowds.
  • Artists willing to do workshops or hands-on outreach.
  • Artists who are easy to communicate with and who are willing to negotiate.
  • Artists who are flexible with lodging arrangements.

Note: Artists who would like to discuss an issue related to festival booking are welcome to attend the public comment section at the start of booking meetings. Email to find out the next meeting date and location.

Developed by the CUFRF Booking Committee, December 2011