NEFFA 2022, our 78th year!

Greetings, NEFFA community!

SPRING 2022 Update: This year’s Festival will be ONLINE on Zoom. For background, see this December 11 announcement.

We are delighted to announce that applications are now open for NEFFA 2022, our 78th year! The Festival will be held April 22-24, 2022. Application deadline is October 17, 2021 at 11:59 pm.

[As of September, the Board is continuing to plan for an in-person Festival. The Board is committed to a safe Festival and is actively discussing policy for vaccination, testing, masks, social distancing, and other safety protocols.

We expect to make a decision no later than January 1, 2022 on whether to hold the Festival in person. If the in-person festival is cancelled, we will pivot to holding an online Festival.] Applications include a question on whether performers are applying for in-person, online, or both. Either way, we encourage you to apply now, so that we can put together the best program as soon as possible after January 1.

When making your decision to apply for in-person, applicants should assume that vaccination and safety measures will be in place. NEFFA has no plans to attempt a hybrid Festival, so if the Festival goes forward in person, online-only applicants would not be on the program, and vice versa.

[If held in person, the Festival will be held at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center, 181 Royal Plaza Dr West, Marlborough, MA 01752. For more information about our new venue, please see]

On behalf of the Program Committee and the NEFFA Board, we extend our heartfelt thanks for your support for this wonderful folk tradition that is the Festival. Please continue reading as it contains important information about the application schedule and guidance for applicants.

Let the application process begin!

Enthusiastically yours,

Lynn Noel
NEFFA Program Chair

Application Schedule

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. We are strict about these deadlines — this is a gigantic operation, and without structure everything would fall apart. Acceptance notifications will go out shortly after the NEFFA Board makes its final decision on in-person vs. online in early January.

The website for submitting applications is now available here:

Ritual/Morris dance applications are submitted using the same form. The questions and procedures are largely the same, but there may be some differences from previous years.

Needless to say, you should read the instructions in detail and fill out the form carefully. If you are having any trouble with your application, please let us know immediately at

PLEASE DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE DEADLINE TO APPLY!!! It is so much easier if the applications come in continuously, rather than all at once. THANK YOU in advance for helping us out by applying early!

About 2022 Applications

No Indoor Dance Performance This Year

After careful discussion, the Program Committee has reluctantly agreed that at this first year in our new venue, there will not be space or logistics for indoor dance performance. We hope to resolve these issues in the future, but we will not be accepting applications for indoor dance performances in 2022. Morris and ritual dance applications for outdoor performance will be accepted as usual (deadline January 15).

Guidance for Applicants

We are looking forward to seeing many familiar faces and classic NEFFA sessions return this year, but we are especially excited to see new faces and hear your ideas for new sessions! If you have friends who might be a good fit for NEFFA, please pass this email along.

We are particularly eager for applications involving:

  • Folk traditions underrepresented at NEFFA, especially from Asia, Africa, and South America
  • Mentoring for those who wish to improve on their skills
  • Structured jams — both instrumental and singing; especially slow jams
  • Family oriented participatory events (dancing, singing, storytelling)

Note to Contra and Square Dance Callers

  • We like to feature more focused workshops on squares, chestnuts (including triplets and triple minors) and good dance style.
  • We also appreciate anyone who can offer an introductory session.
  • Please remember that the majority of our dance hours are for mixed levels; rarely do we schedule an advanced contra session outside of the medleys.