New England Folk Festival
~ April 22-24, 2022 ~
The New England Folk Festival, widely known by the name NEFFA, is an annual folk festival that blends dance, music, crafts, and more from many places and cultures. We hope that you will join us!
The Festival is run by the New England Folk Festival Association, a cultural and educational, volunteer-run, non-profit organization. The talent of our performers is also offered on a volunteer basis.
When:Friday April 22 to Sunday April 24, 2022. Our 78th Year!
Where: Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, 181 Royal Plaza Dr West, Marlborough, MA 01752.
Admission: 2022 ticket prices and additional details TBA.
Lodging: 2022 Hotel room reservations are now open to the public.
NEFFA has arranged a special group rate at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel for standard guest rooms during the 2022 Festival weekend. Please use only this process to book guest rooms, as it gives NEFFA credit which reduces our other hotel costs.
To reserve your guest room at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel, follow these steps. Please read the additional notes below for important details.
Click on the link below. (It takes you directly into the NEFFA group booking, with our room rates for the Festival weekend.)
- Scroll down to the calendar to select your dates.(Ignore the “Book Now” and “Group Rate Booking” prompts in upper right corner of the page.)
- After selecting dates, click the “Check Rates” button and select your room style. (The group rate does not apply to suites, although you can book a suite at the retail rate using this link.)
- Fill out the required Contact and Credit Card information.
- After you click “Finalize Reservation,” you will receive an email confirmation from the hotel.
- If you need to cancel or make changes to a reservation, please contact the hotel directly at 508-460-0700. These reservations will be handled by the local hotel, not by the central Best Western office. This number will take you to the front desk at the hotel, and they will be able to help you.
Please note the following:
- There is a two-night minimum required for bookings during the Festival weekend.
- The Festival runs Friday to Sunday, 4/22/22 to 4/24/22, so checking in on Friday and checking out on Sunday will work for most people. (Thursday 4/21/22 is a Festival setup day.)
- Hotel Room Checkout is 11:00 AM, so if you are departing Sunday, you will need to be out of your room while the Festival is still going on.
- Please use only this link to book rooms at the hotel for that weekend. This is the way for you to get the best rate, but it also gives us “credit” for booking the room, which is critical for keeping other Festival rental costs as low as possible.
- We are trying to arrange for a “quiet” area of the hotel, but no guarantees. If you’re interested in being in what may be a more quiet area of the hotel at night, add a note to the “comments/special requests” section when you do your booking. The hotel will do their best to accommodate these requests and group these people together.
- Reservations can be canceled without penalty up to 72 hours ahead of the start time of the reservation; otherwise, the cancelation fee is one night’s room charge plus tax.
- If you have problems or are unable to manage an online booking process, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
What Happens at the Festival?
NEFFA is unique because of the participatory nature of the events. Not only are there concerts and performances, but there are also opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with music, dance, and folk arts culture.
- Festival Performers: If you are interested in performing on a volunteer basis at the Festival, you can fill out an on-line application. Applications are available here now. The deadline for non-ritual dance applications is 11:59pm EDT, Sunday October 17, 2021. For ritual/Morris dance the deadline is 11:59pm EST, January 15th, 2022. More detailed information is also available here. Email Program Chair Lynn Noel (program AT neffa Dot org) if you have specific questions.
- Music: There is music everywhere! You will find jam sessions, instrument workshops, group singing, and performances of folk music throughout the Festival; turn the corner and music greets your ears, so bring your instruments. Free instrument checking is provided (but no overnight storage).
- Participatory Dance: The Festival is known for its varied social dance program, which includes: Contra and traditional square dancing, international folk dancing, couple dancing, waltzing, English country, Scandinavian, and more. There are plenty of introductory workshops, as well as sessions geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers (a particular favorite is the no walk-through contra dance medley, which originated at the NEFFA Festival).
- Dance Performances: Morris teams and other demonstration groups dance outside during the day on Saturday and Sunday — a welcoming sight to new and returning Festival-goers alike.
- Family Events: NEFFA is a great place to bring your family. There are many family-oriented programs, from dancing and singing to storytelling and puppets.
- Family Resource and Activities Room: A hands-on room for kids, teens, and adults to enjoy arts, crafts, and puppet play.
- Crafts: Handmade items are for sale in the crafts area from a juried selection of vendors. Many exhibitors demonstrate their work.
- Folk Bazaar: Vendor booths will offer a wide selection of folk-related wares, from music CDs to jewelry to puppets and more! Vendors represent a wide variety of folk traditions.
- Performer Sales Table: Books and recordings by NEFFA performers are for sale, as well as NEFFA souvenirs and T-shirts.
- Discussion Sessions: Thought-provoking dialogues provide a great opportunity to network with other Festival attendees with similar interests. These moderated discussion sessions cover a wide range of topics.
- The NEFFA Annual Meeting: NEFFA is an all-volunteer run organization. Come meet the Board, provide feedback, and ask questions.
Be a Part of The Team
The New England Folk Festival Association works year-round not just on Festival planning, but also on a weekly contra dance, a monthly on-line concert series, The Ralph Page Legacy Weekend, and a grants program. Contact Janet Yeracaris (President AT neffa DOT org) if you are interested in getting involved.
If you are interested in performing on a volunteer basis at the Festival, you can fill out an on-line application. Applications are available here in early September with different deadlines based on performer type. Email Program Chair Lynn Noel (program AT neffa Dot org) if you have specific questions.
The Festival runs as well as it does because of the efforts of hundreds of Festival volunteers. You can earn free admission by volunteering and enjoy being a part of a great group of people. Check out our volunteering site which usually opens in February.
Program Book Advertising
NEFFA Program Guides are read by thousands of Festival-goers and provide entertainment and reference for months to come. Ad revenue helps us defray the cost of producing the books, which lets us keep admission prices as low as possible. Please consider placing an ad with us. Rates and Info can be found here.
The Festival has several vendor areas. Please contact the appropriate person for your particular area.
- Crafts Room – Items for sale hand-made by seller. More information about the application process can be found here. Contact Crafts Co-Chairs. Ann Schunior ( neffa AT schunior DOT org) or Dina Flockhart (cloakmakers AT gmail DOT com).
- Folk Bazaar – Items for sale from folk traditions across the world. Contact Folk Bazaar Chair Len Bittenson (len DOT bittenson AT gmail DOT com) or access the Folk Bazaar Application Form.
- Videotaping and Audio Recording: NEFFA policy is to allow video and audio recording for personal use only. Please respect performers’ requests to have recording devices turned off during their session.
- Animals: No animals other than dogs assisting the disabled are allowed on the Festival grounds.
- Food: Food may be eaten only where allowed. Please help us keep the dance floors clean. Be aware that vendors who need to be at their booth and Festival staff who must be at certain volunteer posts have been given exemptions. Non-glass sealed water bottles, such as sports bottles, are permitted, but must remain sealed when not in use.
- Liability: The New England Folk Festival Association, its agents, servants and employees do not assume any liability for any damage, theft, or other loss to your vehicle or your property that occurs as a result of parking your vehicle in any of the lots that are designated for Festival use.
- Children: Children must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times. Events coded “F” are designed for you and your children to participate in together.
- Safety: NEFFA expects all dancers to exercise care and be respectful of others in their dancing. No aerials (lifts) allowed; please keep at least one foot on the floor at all times. The New England Folk Festival Association, its agents, servants and employees do not assume any liability for any injuries that may be sustained due to the condition of the halls or the dancing.
- Security: Don’t leave valuables unattended at the Festival.
- Lost & Found: For Festival Lost and Found, fill out a form at the Info table or after the Festival fill out an on-line Lost and Found.