American Folk Festival - Aug. 26th, 27th, & 28th, 2016
Music, Dance & Culture from Traditions Across America & the World!

Frequently Asked Questions

I know a great band that would be great for the Folk Festival. How do they get to play?

How are performers selected?

When will my favorite performers from prior years return to the AFF stages?

Why aren't there more Maine performers at the Festival?

How do food vendors apply? How are they chosen?

How do craft vendors apply? How are they chosen?

How do Taste of Maine vendors apply? How are they chosen?

How much does it cost to put on the Festival?

Can I volunteer for the Festival?

What is the cost of admission to the Festival?

Can I bring my dog to the Festival?

Is the Festival handicap accessible?

Festival Performers
The American Folk Festival features the same diversity of music and dance that made the National Folk Festival so successful here in Bangor- the traditional arts of the many cultures that make up America today. Traditions that represent the cultural heritage of a region, an ethnic group, a religious group, or an occupation are examples of the genres of music that are featured at the AFF. Performers interested in submitting material to the Programming Committee may send a press kit to: American Folk Festival Programming Committee PO Box 1206 Bangor ME 04402. Submitted materials can not be returned.  Electronic press kits can be emailed to

Selection of Performers
The National Council for Traditional Arts (NCTA), producers of the National Folk Festival, assists the selection of performers each year. The NCTA brings samples of recommended genres and artists to the AFF Programming Committee, which is a local group of media, folklore, entertainment and general public representatives. The Programming Committee voices artist/genre preferences, which guides the selection of performing artists. The programming budget is fixed each year, and we work within that budget to provide the best mix of entertainment.

Favorite Artists
We are now free to bring back any performers who have been a part of the NFF or AFF in Bangor, and the Programming Committee has agreed that we may consider a few returning groups per year. However, there are still many excellent performers who have not yet been to Bangor, and we look forward to continuing to present new artists on the Festival stages, to keep the AFF new and different each year.

Maine Performers
The American Folk Festival's mission is to bring a wide variety of performing acts to Bangor. The Festival is designed to be an opportunity for festival-goers to see and hear performances that are unavailable to them any other time of the year.

When we include Maine artists, they represent a quality and tie to tradition that matches every other group on the Festival's stages.

Food Vendors
The application process begins in January each year, and typically ends in the middle of March.

All applications are screened by a Food Vendor Review Committee, which considers the following criteria: product uniqueness, vendor experience serving large crowds, history with the Festival, product quality, vendor location and non-profit status. Our goal is to select a diverse group of food vendors who can provide efficient and friendly service to festival-goers.

Arts & Crafts Vendors

The application process begins in January each year, and typically ends in the middle of March.

The Marketplace features artisans showcasing their hand-created items. Applicants are screened by a committee which considers the following criteria: product quality and uniqueness.

Taste of Maine Vendors

The application process begins in January each year, and typically ends in the middle of March.

Taste of Maine vendors offer pre-packaged, Maine-made food products. Applicants are screened by a review committee, which considers the following criteria: product must be made in Maine, product quality and uniqueness. 

It takes a Million
Annually, it costs close to $1 million to produce the American Folk Festival.

Funding comes from:

  • Corporations (local, regional and national) (52%)
  • Earned Income (booth fees, t-shirt sales, bucket brigade, etc.) (22%)
  • Government (city, state and federal) sources (17%)
  • Grants and Foundations (5%)
  • Gifts from individuals (4%)
Local organizers work year-round to secure funding to produce this annual event.

Can I Volunteer?
Volunteers are crucial to the success of the Festival. Each year, over 700 volunteers help in over 15 different areas of the Festival. Volunteer registration typically opens in early March.  To join in the fun, you can register online, or call the Festival office at (207)262-7765.

Cost of Admission
In order to make the American Folk Festival accessible to everyone, there is no admission fee. Festival-goers are asked to make a suggested donation of $10/day or $20/family.  Donations can be made by:

  1. mailing a check to: American Folk Festival, PO Box 1206, Bangor ME 04402
  2. donating online
  3. making a donation while at the Festival through our Bucket Brigade or Vending booths.

Pets at the Festival
We love animals too, but for everyone's safety and comfort, please leave all pets at home (with the exception of service animals).

The Festival offers the following assistance to festival-goers:

For safety reasons, golf carts are used to transport performers & staff only.  Golf cart rides are not available to Festival-goers.  We ask that all festival-goers who will need assistance getting around the Festival site make other arrangements ahead of time.

Wheelchairs can be rented from Black Bear Medical Supplies. Wheelchairs must be picked up at Black Bear Medical Supplies at 1113 Stillwater Ave, Bangor, during their business hours (9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday). Call them for more information at 1-877-989-9849.

Handicap parking is available at Bass Park, and a (free) wheelchair accessible shuttle travels back and forth from Bass Park to the Festival.There are wheelchair-accessible porta-potties on-site.