New England Folk Festival
April 21-23, 2023

The New England Folk Festival, widely known by the name NEFFA,  is an annual folk festival that blends dance, music, crafts, and food from many places and cultures. This year is our 79th annual Festival and 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 provided on a volunteer basis.

Festival Basics

When: Friday April 21 to Sunday April 23, 2023. Our 79th Year!

Where:   Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center, 181 Royal Plaza Drive West, Marlborough, MA 01752 (more info about our new site).
BOOK YOUR ROOM! at the NEFFA Group Rate through March 20.

What:  Schedule for  2023 is out!

Who: Lots of amazing performers – have a look at the Performer Index

Performer Applications: Now closed. Please read How to Apply as a Festival Performer and email Program Chair Lynn Noel (program AT neffa DOT org) if you have specific questions.

Volunteer Application: Open – click here! NEFFA runs on volunteers! You can earn free admission to the Festival by volunteering. Six hours earns the entire Festival (fewer hours are prorated). We need volunteers in many areas.

Tickets and Registration: Buy your advance tickets now!

COVID: 2023 Festival COVID-19 Policies

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.

  • Music: There is music everywhere!  You will find jam sessions, instrument workshops, group singing, and performances of folk music throughout the Festival.
  • 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).
  • 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.

Festival Volunteers

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 page here: Call For Volunteers

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.

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 the NEFFA president (president AT neffa DOT org) if you are interested in getting involved.

Vendor Opportunities

The Festival has several vendor areas. Please contact the appropriate person for your particular area.

  • Crafts Room – Items for sale hand-made by seller. 
  • Folk Bazaar – Items for sale from folk traditions across the world. 

Applications are open through November 15 here. Please contact the craftsbazaar (craftsbazaar AT neffa DOT org) for details.