For Groups Wishing to Participate in Folkmoot Festival

Become a Folkmoot Festival Group

Dear Friends,

Folkmoot has begun the process of looking for groups for 2018. Please read the following information and fill out the application below to apply.

To apply to as a group appearing at the Annual Folkmoot Summer Festival, You need to follow this process: 

  1. Fill out the application, linked here.
  2. Review our conditions of participation, below.
  3. Ask that your group is reviewed by Folkmoot’s Group Relations Committee.
  4. Pending approval and invitation, sign a participation agreement and submit to Folkmoot staff.
  5. Provide Folkmoot with the following information, in electronic form via email to photos, videos, promotional information about your group, your country, links to websites and social media sites
  6. Prepare travel arrangements and work with the Folkmoot staff to apply for visas if necessary.
  7. Provide a description of your dances, the origins of your dances, perhaps the regions from which they come. Any information you think would help us understand your group’s presentations. 


The North Carolina International Folk Festival, Folkmoot USA, will take place July 19-29 2018.  Folkmoot is headquartered in Western North Carolina, about three hours north of Atlanta, Georgia, at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains.   More than 250 groups have represented the folklore of almost 200 countries at the festival to date.

Folkmoot USA, a CIOFF festival, has been designated by the North Carolina General Assembly and Governor of our State as “The Official International Festival of North Carolina.”  Visitors from all across America attend the festival.  We take great pride in being a festival of friendship that hosts high quality folk groups.


In 2018, groups will be asked to arrive no later than July 18 and depart on July 30.  Folkmoot USA provides transportation to and from a Qualifying Airport of arrival in our Region of the US.

Qualifying Airports are:

Asheville (NC) Regional Airport – AVL (45 minutes from FOLKMOOT Friendship Center by bus)

Charlotte (NC) International Airport – CLT (2 ½ hours from FOLKMOOT Friendship Center by bus)

Atlanta (GA) International Airport – ATL (3 ½ hours from FOLKMOOT Friendship Center by bus)

Greenville (SC) International Airport – GSP (2 hours from FOLKMOOT Friendship Center by bus)

Each group is responsible for providing its own transportation to the Airport of arrival.


Interested groups are requested to advise Folkmoot in an early communication of the approximate number of individuals that would participate in the Festival.  This should include anyone associated with the group who would travel with the group.  All group members should be at least 16 years old.


Live music rather than recorded music is required and must accompany the dancers.  The emphasis is on folk dance, as Folkmoot is a festival of international dance.  Music, costumes, crafts and other elements of folklore are also important components of Folkmoot.


Groups are housed hostel-style with approximately fifteen persons per room (males and females in separate rooms) at the Folkmoot Friendship Center, formerly an elementary school that has been totally renovated.   Four meals a day are served in the center’s cafeteria where all groups enjoy fellowship together.  

Health Insurance or coverage

There is a professionally staffed First Aid Room in the Folkmoot Friendship Center that is open daily to take care of routine ailments or injuries.  FOLKMOOT USA cannot accept financial responsibility for medical conditions that require medical care outside the Friendship Center, including hospitalization.  Consequently, it is requested that health insurance coverage be arranged for all group members before traveling to the Festival.

Late Niters

The final meal of the day, served after the group’s return from evening performances, is known as a “Late Niter.” Each group is assigned as a Late Niter host one evening during the Festival, giving them the opportunity to provide entertainment, teach dances, organize games, and offer cultural food  for fellow performers from other countries, as well as for Folkmoot staff, volunteers and guests.


Most programs are held in the evening; however, some daytime programs are also scheduled. Performances are approximately 8  to 10 minutes for each group when all groups perform at one program.  At programs where six groups perform, the time allowed is 15 minutes.  At other programs, when three or four groups perform, the time allotted is usually 20 to 30 minutes per group.  Most groups have at least one solo performance during the festival with an expected performance time of 45 to 60 minutes.  Performances are held at various sites throughout Western North Carolina (usually one hour or less away) and include auditoriums, as well as school gymnasiums and small community stages.  Most of the performances are held indoors.  A parade in which all groups participate takes place on a weekday during the festival.  Each group is allowed one full day (or two half days) without performance commitment, in order to give them time to rest and/or to visit interesting sites in our area.


Groups are also allowed to offer their souvenirs, crafts, etc. for sale at most performance sites before the performance and during intermission.

International Festival Day

International Festival Day, a street festival and international bazaar, is always popular with our groups. This takes place on a full day during the Festival, and Main Street in Waynesville is closed to vehicular traffic for the day.  More than 100 craft and food vendors will have items for sale.  Folkmoot groups are asked to bring souvenir items and crafts to sell that are representative of their area.  DVDs and compact discs may also be sold.  Of course, each group keeps all of its proceeds.  Groups are expected to provide at least one short performance on the street during this event.


Validity of invitations is subject to the award of non-immigrant US Visas to all group members if needed.   Groups that are citizens of countries that are not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program are urged to meet with The U.S. Consulate as soon as possible.   The U.S. Consulate in the home country will determine if a visa is required and, if so, what type of visa is required for group members.   If necessary, Folkmoot USA will supply additional information regarding the US Visa process.  Groups are responsible for all costs associated with the award of US Visas if required.


Folkmoot USA will provide housing, transportation and four meals a day during the festival.    All normal CIOFF® conditions will be met.

This document only serves to provide you with information and is not an invitation.  Before an invitation is issued, our Group Relations Committee must review the following information:  group biography, a listing of festivals in which your group has participated, photographs, brochures, DVDs or access to on-line videos, CDs, newspaper or magazine articles about your group, letters of reference and any other available information about your group.  If your group has a website, please provide the site address so that we may review that also.


If, after reviewing the conditions of participation outlined above, you are interested in submitting your group information for possible participation in Folkmoot USA, please send the information listed above to:

Folkmoot USA

P.O. Box 658

112 Virginia Avenue

Waynesville, NC 28786 USA

Phone:  +1-828 452 2997    

Fax:      +1-828 452 5762


After your materials are received, our Group Relations Committee will review them and make a decision as to whether your group will be issued an invitation to participate in Folkmoot USA.  

Thank you for your interest in Folkmoot USA.  We look forward to receiving your group’s information and we welcome any questions you may have.

Application form for International Dancers and Musicians