New England Folk Festival 2021 Online

New England Folk Festival 2021 Online

Thanks for coming! Check out the 2021 NEFFA Festival Session Videos.

At long last, videos from the Online NEFFA Festival weekend are available. Not all sessions were recorded, for a variety of reasons, but we’re happy to share what we have. You can find them here.

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 76th 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.

Festival Basics

When: April 23-25, 2021 EDT - Our 77th annual Festival. Join us!

Where: Online on Zoom. This year has 120+ performers offering 200+ hours of live programming in nine virtual halls on Zoom. We’ve set up a Zoom meeting we’re calling the “Cafeteria,” with a bunch of breakout rooms, where you can socialize with friends. We have a collection of videos made just for NEFFA. And more!

Admission: The 2021 Festival welcomes donations at the time of registration or anytime during the Festival in the virtual lobby. Support our community of performers this year by a donation to the NEFFA 2021 Fund.

Performer Applications: Now closed. Contact program AT neffa DOT org.

Schedules: Festival grids for 2021 are available here.

Medley schedule: 6:30pm Saturday EDT

Program Book: Here is the program book!

Flyer: Help us spread the word. Festival flyer here.

T-Shirt: 2021 - The beautiful woodcut-style artwork by Sara Mann is perfect to show your love for the folk music and dance community.

Facebook Event: Online New England Folk Festival 2021

Contact NEFFA for answers to other questions before and during the online festival. Email to festivalinfo AT neffa DOT org for questions specific to the 2021 online Festival.

NEFFA 2021 Fund

This year and this year only, we are not charging a fixed fee for a NEFFA ticket. Instead, we are encouraging attendees to donate to the “NEFFA 2021 Fund.” After covering the small fixed costs of running the festival, this fund will be split among the NEFFA performers and skilled techs who are volunteering their time and talent to make this online festival happen. All donations to the fund must be received before 5 May 2021.

Our aim is to help support the extended NEFFA community through a difficult year, especially those who have experienced reduced work or financial hardship due to the pandemic.

A Request for Videos

We would love it if you would share any video you have from past NEFFA Festivals. Please share favorite tidbits, old or new, by uploading videos to this link. Many thanks!


What Happens at the Festival?

The Festival has attracted approximately 2,500 attendees from all over the country and overseas and typically features upwards of 1,000 performers. We have had over 130 applicants to the online festival and are looking forward to an event with well over 1000 attendees.

  • Music and Song: There is music everywhere! You will find jam sessions, instrument workshops, group singing, and performances of folk music throughout the Festival…drop into any Zoom session and music greets your ears. Bring your instruments! Many online workshops are participatory, and breakout rooms will be available for rehearsals, tech checks, and informal sessions. The Online Festival offers three concurrent music tracks: SING for participatory song, PICK for instrumental jams, and LISTEN for concerts and dance performances.
  • Participatory Dance: Yes, online dancing is a thing! The Festival is known for its varied social dance program, which includes: A lot of contra and traditional square dancing, international folk dancing, couple dancing, waltzing, English country, Scandinavian, and more. A particular favorite is the contra dance medley, originated at the NEFFA Festival: yes, there will be an online contra medley! There are plenty of introductory workshops as well as sessions geared towards intermediate and advanced dancers. The DANCE track at the Online Festival includes three concurrent “halls” of participatory dancing for all tastes and ages.
  • Dance Performances: Ritual dance teams and costumed ethnic performing groups have been a part of NEFFA since the beginning, representing many different cultures. This year the Online Festival will feature morris workshops, performances from across the world, and even hula hoop.
  • Family Events: NEFFA is a great place to bring your family, and the Online Festival is no exception. There are many family-oriented programs at the Festival, from dancing and singing to storytelling and puppets.
  • Performer Sales: Books and recordings by NEFFA performers are available on performer websites through the schedule grid. The Festival Souvenirs page offers NEFFA souvenirs and the 2021 Festival T-shirt.
  • 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 Online Festival has a TALK track with participatory discussions and informative presentations.
  • The NEFFA Annual Meeting: NEFFA is an all-volunteer run organization. Come meet the Board, provide feedback, and ask questions. The Annual Meeting at the Online Festival will be on Saturday from 12 noon-1pm.

Getting Involved

As a Festival Performer

Applications for the Online Festival are now closed. Email Program Chair Jon Cannon (program AT neffa DOT org) if you have specific questions. View performer index.

As a Festival Volunteer

The Festival runs as well as it does because of the efforts of hundreds of Festival volunteers. Click here to volunteer for the Online Festival! Questions? Contact volunteering AT neffa DOT org

Special Notes

Access Information: coming soon

Video/Audio Recording: coming soon

How To Zoom

Do you want additional information to ensure you have a great Online Festival? We have two ways you can acquire or brush up on your Zooming skills.


This video by Seattle musician WB Reid covers how to prepare for your first Zoom experience and provides a step by step review of key features that a user will need to have a successful experience.


This set-by-step How-To document is written to accompany the video and includes information on how to join breakout rooms.

Zoom Requirements

Version 5.3.0 or later. Older versions of Zoom will not allow you the freedom to self-select event rooms. Because Zoom issues frequent updates, you may want to update to the latest version of Zoom a day or two before the event. Zoom offers a tutorial on how to join: Click here for yet another tutorial.