An incredible 65 Australian artists will be given a platform to be seen by members of the international music industry this month when they take part in Folk Unlocked, the inaugural virtual event from the team behind Folk Alliance International.

Established in 1989, Folk Alliance International (FAI) is the world’s largest gathering of the folk music industry and community. The event became renowned by fans and musicians alike for its unique set up: taking over a hotel in cities around North America, where each room was turned into a showcase room. Nights are spent traversing the hallways, following your ears to the best sounds, and discovering some incredible talent from around the world along the way.

In 2020, FAI was one of the last events to happen – in January in New Orleans – before Covid-19 shut down music conferences and festivals around the world. Shortly thereafter, they became one of the first to commit to a digital event for 2021, Folk Unlocked.

The move provided organisers and the artists who will play the event ample time to prepare for the virtual conference, set to take place from the 22nd to the 26th of February.

For the inaugural digital event, Sounds Australia is proud to be presenting their virtual showcase CLOSE UP, partnering with Isol-Aid and participating in the Global Music Marathon – featuring many of the artists who took part in 2020’s groundbreaking Global Music Match.

CLOSE UP – Sound Australia’s flagship virtual showcase – will be held on the opening night of the event, Monday 22nd February from 4.30pm to 6.30pm CT (Tuesday 23rd 9:30am – 11:30am AEDT). Hosted by Sounds Australia’s Leah Flanagan, Glenny G and Dom Alessio, CLOSE UP will serve as the spotlight showcase for the Australian artists playing the event.

An exciting and eclectic mix of 12 acts will showcase as part of CLOSE UP, featuring, in alphabetical order: Benny Walker, David Spry, Deline Briscoe, Emily Wurramara, Emma Swift, Ernest Aines, Kee’ahn, Monique Clare, Nathan May, Ruth Hazleton & Daisywheel, Tenzin Choegyal and XANI.

Sounds Australia is thrilled to be partnering with Isol-Aid, the world’s longest running online music festival, to bring this unique festival experience to Folk Unlocked 2021. 49 Australian artists are set to perform live across the four days of Folk Unlocked, from the 22nd to the 25th of February. Isol-Aid Unlocked will start at 6.30pm CT (23rd – 26th 11:30am AEDT), with no less than 12 Australian artists taking audiences into their homes each night.

In addition to the performances during CLOSE UP and Isol-Aid Unlocked, Australian acts Charm Of Finches, Colin Lillie, Fanny Lumsden, Kaurna Cronin, Little Quirks, Saije, Shelley Segal, STAV and The Heart Collectors will be involved in the closing event of Folk Unlocked – Global Music Marathon – on Friday the 26th at 3:30pm CT (Saturday 27th at 8:30am AEDT).

Global Music Marathon will bring together many of the artists from around the world who took part in 2020’s groundbreaking digital project Global Music Match. The Marathon will see these artists reunited to present once-in-a-lifetime performances and collaborations in a very special presentation. More details on this event will be revealed closer to the date.

During Folk Unlocked 2021 Australian artists will also be presenting their own private showcases, along with presented showcases such as i hear Django and the New Melbourne Folk Club. To see the full list of Australian artists showcasing, head to http://www.soundsaustralia.com.au/index.php/event/folk-unlocked/

In order for Folk Unlocked to be an event accessible to all, there is a pay-what-you’re-able pricing structure. All registration prices provide the same level of access. Registration is valued at US $150, and there are three other registration tiers (in American dollars): $75, $25, and $0: https://member.folk.org/event/folkunlocked