Make your plans now to join us in the heartland of North Carolina for the National Folk Festival – one of America’s most prestigious and longest-running celebrations of arts, culture, and heritage. Best of all, this three-day celebration is FREE! No tickets needed!

In choosing Greensboro as the National Folk Festival Host City for 2015, 2016, and 2017, the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) – the organization that created and has produced the National Folk Festival since its founding in 1934 – recognized Greensboro’s and North Carolina’s unique cultural assets and strong community spirit. The Festival will celebrate its 75th anniversary as it launches its first-ever residency in North Carolina in downtown Greensboro this September.

The site for the National Folk Festival is in downtown Greensboro, and partially within Greensboro’s vibrant Elm Street district. A mix of open air and tented sites provide a variety of performance venues ranging from intimate stages to amphitheater size.

With 30+ groups performing on seven stages, as well as North Carolina Folklife Area, Family Activities Area, North Carolina Arts Marketplace, and Festival Food Courts, the National Folk Festival offers a jubilant array of experiences for all ages.





National Folk Festival Package

If you are coming to Greensboro for the 2017 National Folk Festival in downtown Greensboro check out this deal! Our Folk Festival Package includes overnight accommodations, scheduled transportation to and from the downtown venues and a $30 amenity voucher to use during your stay. Available only on September 8, 9 and 10.  Learn More


An exuberant traveling festival that celebrates the diverse cultural expressions of 21st-century Americans, the National Folk Festival is produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts (NCTA) in partnership with communities around the country. This year, the National Folk Festival will celebrate its 75th anniversary in Greensboro.

Since it was first presented in St. Louis in 1934, the National Folk Festival has celebrated the roots, richness, and variety of American culture. Championed in its early years by Eleanor Roosevelt, the Festival was the first event of national stature to present the arts of many nations, races, and languages on equal footing. Some of the artists presented at the first festival are now legendary, and the recordings and other documentation made possible by the National Folk Festival are precious. “Father of the Blues” W.C. Handy’s first performance on a desegregated stage was at the 1938 National Folk Festival. This festival was also the first to present to the public musical forms such as the blues, Cajun music, polka bands, Tex-Mex conjunto, Peking Opera, and many others.

The National Folk Festival’s three-year stay in each host city is intended to lay the groundwork for a sustainable, locally-produced festival that continues after it moves on. Including Greensboro, the National Folk Festival has been presented in 28 cities. Musicians and craftspeople from every state and most U.S. territories have participated in this “moveable feast of deeply traditional folk arts.” Presented to audiences free of charge over three days, National Folk Festivals have drawn audiences of 100,000 to 175,000 annually since 1987.

Click here for the complete National Folk Festival Schedule.


Music and dance traditions from every part of the nation are represented, performed by the country’s very finest traditional artists. Audiences are treated to authentic blues, rockabilly, gospel, jazz, polka, tamburitza, cowboy, bluegrass, klezmer, old-time, Cajun, rhythm and blues, mariachi, western swing, honky-tonk and zydeco, as well as traditional music and dance from Native American, Celtic, Acadian, Middle Eastern, Caribbean, East Asian, Appalachian, Latin American, Eastern European, African, and Pacific Island cultures, among others.

Click for the complete line-up of National Folk Festival Performers.