Hi Chris and all,
I am also very new at this, and look forward to hearing responses from callers with more
My impression is that it varies from festival to festival and its best to talk with
someone who has called at the festival in the past, which I suppose is why youre posting
For example, at Northwest Folklife in Seattle, Memorial Day Weekend annually, which I
have only attended once as a dancer, and not called at, but last year while I was at the
Festival, I talked with the person in charge of booking the contra dance bands and callers
to understand the process, including many of the questions you asked. For NWFL festival,
there are so many bands that apply, and more bands than slots available, that each band
can only play once every other year. Of course, the musicians end up mixing up in
different groups etc. To call at that event, you have a much better chance, and it is
recommended that callers sign up and apply with a band, which is what the organizer
suggested. Also, the band and callers need to be from the Northwest U.S. area.
Occasionally, folks from out of the NW States can perform but they must sign up with and
perform with at least one person for the Northwest.
Again, I dont have a lot of experience at this yet, but I do think it varies from
festival to festival, and wanted to share an example from how another festival is
organized. Im sure there are more folks on this list with more experience.
I have observed that the applications are due much earlier than the festival itself, 6
8 months ahead of time being fairly common, so one needs to develop a system of noting the
deadlines, as they all vary. I wonder how other callers note the deadlines? I use a
daytimer. I am guessing it becomes easier year after year to remember or know when the
Chris Weiler <chris.weiler(a)weirdtable.org> wrote: I realized last night that I had
let the deadlines pass for the
performer applications for Down East and NEFFA this year. I also
realized that part of the reason that I let them pass was because I
wasn't sure what was expected on the forms. Here are the questions I
should have asked weeks ago:
Generally the festivals provide 1 hour slots. Do you put a theme with a
short description onto the application, or can you just request a slot
and figure out the theme later? How much do callers try and do something
totally original or do they pick a theme that hasn't been done in a
while? Do you work out something with a band before, or does the
festival scheduler pair you up?
I would enjoy hearing how some of the callers with festival experience
approach the application process.
Callers mailing list