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Folk Alliance Region Midwest arrives in Iowa City for the very first time


Iowa Native Greg Brown will be featured as the keynote speaker for the 2015 conference -- Image still via Youtube
Greg Brown will be featured as the keynote speaker for the 2015 conference — Image still via Youtube

FARM Conference

Various Locations — Oct. 22-25

Folk Alliance Region Midwest (FARM) will host their 24th annual conference at the Sheraton in downtown Iowa City from Oct. 22-25.

The first FARM conference was held in the fall of 1991 after branching off of the national Folk Alliance to focus on a small, but dense, community of folk singer-songwriters. The Midwest chapter of the Folk Alliance spans 12 states and includes three Canadian districts. The conference has made its rounds hosting events throughout the region, but 2015 marks the first year it will be hosted in Iowa City.

The conference makeup is what you would expect, full of workshops, showcases and panels. But the late night jam circles remain the favorites of many conference goers and organizers. A majority of the events will be hosted at the Sheraton hotel with feature events taking place throughout the community including Hotelvetro, The Mill, Uptown Bill’s and more.

Conference registration fees range from $100-130. Taste of FARM tickets are only $20 for an individual one-night pass or $50 for a three-night pass. These discounted tickets are intended for music fans who are interested in seeing the performers and feature events, but not attending the conference itself.

Iowa’s own Greg Brown will be the keynote speaker, a rare treat for songwriters and music makers. Brown is widely revered for his songwriting, but those familiar with his live show can attest to his quiet demeanor. This infrequent insight into his personal musical process is likely to leave audience members inspired.

Taste of FARM Events
$20 for an individual one-night pass / $50 for a three-night pass.
For music fans who are interested in seeing the performers and feature events, but not attending the all-day FARM conference.

Thursday, Oct. 22

7-8 p.m — Amos Dean Ballrooms B and C: Award Presentation
8 p.m. – Midnight — Folk Showcase, Amos Dean Ballrooms B and C: Kitty Donohoe, Mother Banjo, Jim Jones, Tom and Barb Webber, REd Brick Rhoades, Jenny and Robin Bienemann, Sue Fink, Hungrytown, Jenny Ferrell, The Roe Family Singers, Lambert and Walz, Robinlee Garber, Mare Wakefield and Nomad, Jane Godfrey, Natalie Gelman, Jim Post, Jeff Karoub

Friday, Oct. 23

7-8 p.m. — Amos Dean Ballrooms B and C: — Greg Brown
8-10:40 p.m. — Official Showcase, Amos Dean Ballrooms B and C: Mark Croft, Heather STyka, Sam Pacetti, Neptune’s Car, Joel Mabus, Steave Dawson and Diane Christiansen, Mike Mangione and The Union
10:50-11:50 p.m. — Performance Lane, Amos Dean Ballroom A: Steven Schmidt, Hall and Morgan, Daniel Colehour, Terry White, Jodi Walker, Kevin Elliott
10:50-11:50 p.m. — Performance Lane, Amos Dean Ballroom D: David Walker, Cheryl Tomblin, Julie Christensen, The Wilhelms, Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan, Rick Vines

Saturday, Oct. 24

8-10:40 p.m. — Official Showcase, Amos Dean Ballroom B and C: Claudia Nygaard, Ben Bedford, Katie Dahl, Nathan Bell, The Speedbumps, Tom Mason, Sawtooth Brothers
10:50-11:50 p.m. — Performance Lane, Amos Dean Ballroom A: David G. Smith, Hannah Shira Naiman, Rick Drost, Ronny Cox, Barefoot Wonder, Dick Kimmel
10:50-11:50 p.m. — Performance Lane, Amos Dean Ballroom D: David Drake, Don D. Harvey, Hope Dunbar, Melanie Devaney, Ruth and Max Bloomquist, Meg Braun

This article originally appeared in Little Village issue 186


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