Dear Port Fairy Folk Festival Friend,
The Program Team. x In 2020 we are delighted to be partnering with US based Folk Alliance International (FAI) in the presentation of The ExChange - International Folk Music Conference - 2 - 4 March, Geelong, Australia 2020.
We are very proud to announce that opening night will feature the presentation of the Elaine Weissman Lifetime Achievement Award to Jamie McKew, who established Port Fairy Folk Festival in 1977. For more than 40 years Jamie has been committed to the presentation, promotion, and celebration of great folk music on a global level, and has been instrumental in creating opportunities for thousands of artists in Australia and abroad. Past recipients of the award include Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, Alan Lomax, and Smithsonian Folkways.
Opening night on 2 March, at the Wurdi Youang, (High Ground), Geelong Library & Heritage Centre, will feature the presentation of this prestigious award as well as a stunning concert with performances by Gina Williams & Guy Ghouse, Shane Howard and The East Pointers.
Upon being notified of the award Jamie said "This Lifetime Achievement Award announced by Folk Alliance International is incredible news! It is an amazing surprise to me and I have to confess that when I was told a few days ago, I was lost for words. It is very life affirming to be embraced by the wonderful folk music community both nationally and internationally. It is a privilege to receive an award such as this, because it also recognises all who contribute to the vast and complex folk music world."
All members of our industry and interested parties are invited to attend The ExChange, a wonderful three-day gathering of the Australian and International Folk, Roots music community.
The ExChange is a national convening and boutique micro-conference focused on industry networking, strategic sector planning, international market development, and showcases for export-ready artist showcases. Past editions have been held in Ireland and Sweden. The goals of the event are industry partnerships, professional development, business networking, music export opportunities, sector strategy, and overall elevation of Australia's independent folk music community.
Aengus Finnan, Executive Director of Folk Alliance International remarked “this event is the culmination of many years of partnerships with Australian industry, as well as artists the likes of The Waifs, BlueHouse, Jordie Lane, Yirrmal, and Emily Wurramara. We’re proud to present this edition with our friends at Port Fairy, and hope that by bringing the ExChange and its international delegates to Australia, deeper long-term relationships will be established and in turn lead to more sustainable careers for export-ready artists.”
Agents, managers, record labels, media, artists, festival/venue directors and interested parties are invited to register at www.folkexchange.org to attend to and participate in trade panels, professional development workshops, industry peer sessions, national and international artists showcases, and networking receptions. Sessions will include discussions on the state of the field, industry trends and best-practices, and global partnership development.
The ExChange is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. Organizers acknowledge the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People who are part of the Greater Geelong community today.
FAI and PFFF are proud to present this event in association with The City of Greater Geelong Arts & Culture Department, Geelong Regional Library Corporation, Woodfordia, Sounds Australia, the New Zealand Music Commission, and Folk Alliance Australia.
The ExChange is funded in part by Creative Victoria and The City of Greater Geelong Arts & Culture Department with additional partnership support from the Victorian Music Development Office (VMDO).
About The ExChange
The ExChange is a boutique micro-conference program designed to convene folk music artists and industry in international markets. Produced by Folk Alliance International in partnership with local organizations, the program focuses on economic development, industry partnerships, professional development, business networking, music export opportunities, and sector strategy for musicians and anyone in the folk music industry. The first edition was held in Ireland, followed by a Nordic edition in Sweden. The Australian edition will be held March 2 - 4, 2020 in partnership with the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
About Folk Alliance International
Founded in 1989, Folk Alliance International (FAI) is a US-based global non-profit that exists to preserve, promote, and present folk music through education, advocacy, industry networking, and professional development. FAI produces the world’s largest conference for the folk music community with 3000 delegates from over 45 countries, has five regional organizations and one Nordic affiliate. FAI produces The ExChange, an Artist in Residence program, a Global Summit Series, and the International Folk Music Awards.