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World's Largest Folk Music Festival FOLK UNLOCKED Goes “Electric”

Bramble will create a unique virtual space for FAI's global network to gather during the festival.

World's Largest Folk Music Festival FOLK UNLOCKED Goes “Electric”

Folk Alliance International has announced its partnership with Bramble, a new fluid video platform for online gatherings. Together, the organizations will secure the future of folk by bringing its global community online together for live music and critical fundraising to support the industry, which is in dire need due to COVID-19 and the cancellation of in-person events.

To kick-off this innovative year-long partnership, Bramble will create a unique virtual space for FAI's global network to gather during Folk Unlocked, a five-day virtual conference with panels, workshops, showcases, peer group meetings, exhibit spaces, networking, and mentorship from February 22 to February 26, 2021.

"When the pandemic forced us to cancel our in-person event we started to envision the possibilities online, and it quickly became clear that despite the challenges, this is a year for innovation and creativity through technology. We've worked hard to capture our culture and spirit in a virtual event and leverage new ways to initiate connections between creative professionals."," said Alex Mallett, FAI's Director of Development.

In every hotel from Kansas City to Montréal to New Orleans, FAI is famous for the connections made as artists and industry professionals bump elbows, old friends embrace, and jam sessions emerge spontaneously. This year Bramble is providing a new kind of online gathering technology that allows FAI to recreate a virtual version of the FAI lobby.

"Think of it like the hotel lobby. Bramble is a playful online space that allows attendees to walk around and socialize in a more natural way. Attendees then get to navigate a lighthearted avatar around the space, and when you get close to another avatar you can have a conversation. Get close to the stage to use the mic, or gather friends together for a group conversation - or just walk around with a friend you bump into", said Marisa Kolka, FAI's Communications Manager.

In addition to providing a digital hub for Folk Unlocked attendees to gather, Bramble will act as a virtual venue for the conference's closing event, the Global Music Marathon on February 26, following the presentation of the International Folk Music Awards. The marathon is the culmination of the Global Music Match, a massive worldwide program initiated last Fall to support the folk industry amidst the pandemic.

Artists include:

Adyn Townes
BandAdriatica
Breabach
Brek Band
Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino
Catherine MacLellan
Cätlin Mägi
Charly Lowry
Charm of Finches
Claire Hastings
Còig
Colin Lillie
Crys Matthews
Daisy Chute
DANTCHEV:DOMAIN
Darling West
Darren Eedens
Dave Gunning
Duo Emilia Lajunen & Suvi Oskala
Edgelarks
Elephant Sessions
Fanny Lumsden
Fara
FayeHong / 飛鴻
Gina Chavez
GKN5
Harbottle & Jonas
Irish Mythen
Jackie Oates
Jimmy Rankin
Johanna Juhola
Jon Boden
Kajsa Balto
Kalàscima Karate Kactus
Karl Seglem
Kaurna Cronin
Korason
Las Migas
Leaf Yeh / 葉穎
Little Quirks
Lucy Ward
Luke Concannon
Mascarimiri
Matthew McDaid
Mission Songs Project
Okra Playground
OOPUS
Outlet Drift / 漂流出口
Ryan Young
Saije
SaulPaul
Sean Ardoin
Shelley Segal
Siobhan Miller
Startijenn
STAV.
Susanne Lundeng Trio
Svavar Knútur
Tapestri
THE HEART COLLECTORS
The Magpies
The Once
The Shackleton Trio
Tomato/Tomato
Twelfth Day
Vishtèn
Zäpämmät

The digital experience will be the first gathering of its kind for the international folk community, providing a globally accessible space for FAI's signature program.

The partnership will continue this spring with Bramble's platform serving as the virtual venue for an intimate monthly interview series available exclusively for FAI members featuring award recipients from the International Folk Music Awards. With the help of Bramble's technology, this element of FAI's programming will be more social and interactive than ever, despite coronavirus-related restrictions, by providing a refreshing approach to online engagement.

Folk Unlocked x Bramble Schedule

Mon, Feb 22 - Feb 26 Open Daily from 3:00PM - 3:30PM EST

Thurs, Feb 25 1:30 PM - 12:30 PM EST
Peer Session: Emerging Music Industry and Artists | Ben Gareffam,
Sara Gougeon, Zachary Kuhn, Sam Robbins, and Meryl Rudy

Friday. Feb 26 3:30 - 4:30PM EST
Lobby Social Extending Hours

4:30 - 7:30PM EST
Global Music Marathon Closing Party

*What is Bramble?

  • Bramble is a new interactive video chat platform that allows anyone to create their own beautiful digital worlds for gatherings and social activities.
  • Bramble offers a series of ready-to-go digital worlds for shows, parties, experiential marketing, storefronts, festivals, or any social gathering. Realms range from trippy nightclub vibes to dreamy winter wonderlands.

  • We believe agency is at the heart of meaningful interaction. Our fluid video technology and beautiful spaces make your virtual gatherings more human by letting people walk wherever they want and talk to whoever is near them.


The Experience

  • With arrow keys, guests fluidly move around as an avatar to find friends, watch performances, hang in groups, or drift off to explore the world, as you would at a warehouse party or museum.

  • As you approach others, a video chat box materializes so you can talk face-to-face with people around you- like how you would bump into friends at a cocktail party, or walk up to the artist at an art opening.

  • Voices and pop-up video chat windows get louder and brighter based on your proximity to other avatars. You may overhear fascinating stray bits of conversation as you move through the space or walk away to gossip with a pal without the whole "room" hearing you.


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