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2018 Singer-Songwriter Info

The Ferdinand Folk Festival is launching its fourth annual singer-songwriter contest and will be accepting submissions from June 1 to July 1. The winners will be featured in a performance showcase in the St. Benedict's Brew Works theater on Sunday, August 19, and at the September 15 festival they will earn opening time on the NextEra Energy Main Stage and/or afternoon concerts on the Kyana Woodstock Market Stage. Winners will also be recognized in festival marketing. 

“We encourage people of all ages from the community and region to create original songs from their own life experiences," said Rock Emmert, chair of the friendly competition. "The contest provides a fun opportunity to share original music with a supportive, listening audience and to meet and collaborate with other artists from the area."

The folk music tradition includes songs that tell powerful stories, bring history to life, celebrate nature and relationships, reflect on issues, make people think, laugh, etc.  In the past three years, the contest has attracted dozens of local, regional, and national artists of all ages to submit excellent, diverse songs and genres supported by the festival including folk, Americana, bluegrass, blues, reggae, and more. The public showcases in August have been among the most well-received festival events and support the growing listening room scene in the region.

There will again be two divisions:  class of 2018 and younger and 18 and older. Each entrant may submit up to three songs (with collaborations of up to three people) with each no more than five minutes in length. All submissions are due by July 1 and must be submitted online at www.ferdinandfolkfestival.com.The showcase performers will be announced later in July.  The showcase will not be a competition; instead, the winners will have the opportunity to share their talent in an intimate, non-competitive setting as well as sell any CDs they may have to offer.  

committee of experienced music promoters, songwriters, and educators familiar with original songwriting and performing techniques will study each song, applying the following rubric: originality of lyrics (25%), melody (25%), musicianship (25%), and overall quality (25%). Songs that have been previously recorded and released under contract on a label are not eligible. Additional information and guidelines can also be found online. For inquiries call 812-631-2856 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



“Alas, for those who never sing, but die with all their music in them! —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Please carefully read the following rules. Thanks and good luck!

1. All songs should be original, acoustic, and genres appropriate to the spirit of the Ferdinand Folk Festival: folk, Americana, reggae, blues, bluegrass, Celtic, country, rock and/or a creative fusion of the above.

2. Each song may not exceed five (5) minutes.

3. Participants may enter from one to three songs. Each song requires a separate online submission.

4. There is no entry fee.

5. To enter, participants must complete the online entry form and must submit each song as a YouTube or Soundcloud link. Each song requires a separate online entry form.

6. Contest is open to all ages.

7. Participants may enter as a solo artist, a duo, or a trio. At least one person in each group must be the writer of each song.

8. Co-written songs are allowed, but at least one of the writers must perform the song.

9. Participants may enter in more than one group, but no more than three groups.

10. There will be two age categories: class of 2018 and younger, and 18 and older.

11. If a combination of artists from each age category enters the contest, the duo or trio must enter in the older age division.

12. Recordings submitted must be representative of the person or group’s live acoustic performance.

13. Because of the songwriting emphasis of the contest, instrumental-only songs are not allowed.

14. The submission of the entry certifies that the songwriter has all rights to the songs and that the songs have not been sold or contractually assigned to another entity.

15. Songs previously recorded and released under contract on a label are not eligible.

16. Previous winners are welcome to enter the contest again.

17. Entries are due by midnight on July 1, 2018.

18. All entries will be subjected to an independent screening by several experienced music promoters, songwriters, and educators familiar with original songwriting and performing techniques—using the following rubric: originality of lyrics 25%, melody 25%, musicianship 25%, and overall quality 25%.

19. Finalists will be announced on or near July 20, 2017.

20. Finalists will perform at a public “showcase” competition at a local venue on Saturday, August 19, 2017.

21. Finalists must provide transportation and lodging if necessary to the public competition.

22. Only those one, two, or three artists whose names appear on the application will perform at the public competition—no additional back-up vocals and/or accompanists.

23. Those selected to be in the August 19 public showcase should be prepared to perform for about ten minutes (two songs).

24. Unlike the two previous years, this year the showcase will not be a competition, but rather a relaxing evening of shared music in a small theatre.

25. All showcase performers will be invited to perform at least one song on the main stage of the

Ferdinand Folk Festival to kick off the festival on September 16. They will also have the opportunity

to perform in the afternoon on the market stage, and they will be featured in festival marketing.

26. Only those one, two, or three artists whose names appear on the application will perform at the folk fest—no additional back-up vocals and/or accompanists. If you have any questions, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2018 Schedule of Events

The eighth annual Ferdinand Folk Festival, Saturday, September 16, 2017, will have food, artisan vendors, and educational booths open from 11:30 am to approximately 6:00 pm.  All times are EASTERN. 


11:15 am – 12:15 pm: Area Singer-Songwriter Showcase (Artists TBA) – NextEra Energy Main Stage


Children’s Programs, presented by MasterBrand Cabinets

All Day: Big Bounce Fun House Play Town, softball diamond outfield

All Day: Children's Dream Wall, lower shelterhouse

All Day: Stir-N-Up Hope Pony Rides, south side of the lower shelter house

Noon – 12:30 pm: "Big Bear Hug" Live Theatre (Project ACORN), lower shelter house

12:30 – 1:15 pm: The Talon Trust, Live Bird Program, lower shelter house

1:30 – 2:00 pm: "Big Bear Hug" Live Theatre (Project ACORN), lower shelter house

2:15 – 3:00 pm: Rachael Davis Children’s Concert, lower shelter house

3:15 – 3:45 pm:  Art the Dude Harmonica Workshop (Ferdinand Kiwanis, Birdland Music), lower shelter house

4:00 – 4:30 pm: Strings, Inc., Violin Concert and Instrument Petting Zoo

4:30 – 6:30 pm:  Lil' Rexing's Animal Petting, lower shelter house


2:00 – 3:00 pm: Tie-Dye Shirt Making for Kids, lower shelter house

Activities, Demonstrations, Discussions, and Workshops

Times are subject to change.

All Day: Turners Circus, near merch tent by main stage lawn

All Day: Elements Puppets, throughout park

All Day: Jam Area, upper shelter house

All Day: Pedal Power, in the Market area

All Day: Solar Viewing, south of the playground

10:00 am – 11:00 am: Fire Horse Yoga with Lydia Lagenour, on NextEra Main Stage upper lawn

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Songwriter Workshop by Tim Grimm, upper shelter house

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Blues Guitar and Roots Music Workshop by Justin Johnson, upper shelter house

2:00 – 3:00 pm: Tie-Dye Shirt Making for Kids, lower shelter house



1:00 pm ET - Pedal Power, Renewable Energy and Conservation, by Jim Daniels *Note: This will take place at Jim's booth in market area instead.
2:00 pm ET - Emotional Wellness and Mindfulness, by Terri Kendall
3:00 pm ET - Compassion for LGBTQ+ Students, by Nina Valdez
4:00 pm ET - The Magnificent Monarch, by Nancy Gehlhausen


1:00 pm ET - Hiking the Appalachian Trail, by Sarah Gothe
2:00 pm ET - The Heartwood Reunion, by Mike Luurtsema
3:00 pm ET - Solar Energy in Indiana, by Ryan Zaricki
4:00 pm ET - Stories and Songs: Sharing and Building Community through Performance Art, by Gary Spear   

Ferdinand, Indiana observes Eastern Daylight Savings. Times, performers, and presenters listed are subject to change.


The Ferdinand Folk Festival is accepting applications for art, environmental/wellness, and food booths for the ninth annual Ferdinand Folk Festival on Saturday, September 15, 2018, located in beautiful 18th Street Park. Forms, fees, and details are available online at www.ferdinandfolkfestival.com. Applicants interested in supporting the festival's family-friendly, earth-friendly, and homegrown art/music themes are encouraged to apply.

Talented local and regional artisans who have created hand-crafted items are encouraged to apply. Examples of welcomed items include woven rugs, homemade clothing, jewelry, pottery, paintings, photography, greeting cards, bird houses, etc.—and other creative/natural items such as upcycled goods, baked food, homemade soaps/lotions/candles, seasonal flowers, heirloom plants/seeds, honey, etc. Certified Fair Trade items, handmade by artisans from Third World countries and indigenous communities in the US, are also accepted.

To promote a healthy region and healthy communities, groups and individuals may share/demonstrate a variety of environmental/wellness education and services such as solar power and other alternative renewable energy and conservation ideas, sustainable, green living initiatives, creating natural wildlife habitats, animal rescue opportunities, permaculture design, organic gardening and farming, tree trimming tips, recycling ideas, recycled and new books, etc.

If possible, food vendors are asked to honor the festival’s healthy environment theme by serving all food and drinks in compostable, earth-friendly containers. Many recycling stations will be available in an effort to reduce waste. For safety reasons, glass is not permitted in the park. Festival goers are encouraged to bring reusable, eco-friendly water bottles or to purchase a customized one at the merch tent.

All booths will surround the shaded Kyana Woodstock Market Stage area, where the winners of the Folk Fest Singer-Songwriter Contest will perform, adding to the fun, creative vibe of the festival. The event will take place rain or shine. Preferred application deadline is Friday, July 27. For planning purposes, early submissions are appreciated.

The festival's vibrant diversity of art, environmental/wellness, and food booths complement the renowned, local and nationally-touring musicians performing on the NextEra Energy Main Stage on the adjacent,sweeping lawn, the multiple nearby activities for children, and the surrounding folk jam, yoga, workshops, and Tent Talks for all ages. All are welcomed.

The festival is co-presented by Best Home Furnishings and MasterBrand Cabinets. The main stage is sponsored by NextEra Energy Resources, and the market stage sponsor is Kyana Woodstock. The folk jammers and hospitality tent are sponsored by Moore Music & Guitars.


How much are tickets?  The festival is FREE! . . . thanks to the kind support of numerous sponsors, donors, in-kind laborers, and the extensive year-round volunteer work of the festival committee.  However, donations are greatly appreciated to keep the festival free.  You may make donations in any of the festive donation barrels in the park or at the merchandise tent, or see donor levels of giving and how to donate under our Donor tab
What time does the festival start / end?  The festival starts at 11:15 am Eastern and ends at approximately 9:00 pm Eastern.
Who are the performers?  Please see music tabs for all musicians and see the singer-songwriter tab.
What activities are there for children?  We have many!  Please see the schedule and kids' activities.
What activities are there for adults?  We have many for adults, too.  Please see the schedule.
Where is the festival located?  In Ferdinand’s beautiful 18th Street Park, on the north edge of town--on land donated by Robert and Evelyn Leinenbach
What time can I get there?  The festival officially starts at 11:15, but we also have a free yoga session at 10:00 on the hill above the main stage, and pony rides begin at 11:00.
What are some area hotels and campgrounds for overnight guests? Several hotels are located nearby at the interstate exits at the Ferdinand and Dale exits.  Huntingburg, Jasper, and Santa Claus are also nearby and also have many options.  Lincoln State Park has cabins, as does Taswell (White Oaks).  Camping is available at the Ferdinand State Forest, Lincoln State Park, Lake Rudolph in Santa Claus, and the Dubois County 4H Park just north of Bretzville.
What's the parking situation? If you live in town or the neighborhood, we encourage walking or riding bicycles for all who are able. Carpooling is great, too, and also environmentally friendly. In addition to the limited parking within the park, several large parking lots are located south of the park at the Ferdinand Community Center, the YMCA, and Forest Park Jr-Sr High School (west and east of school).  An excellent and scenic trail system will lead you to the park from Forest Park.  Street parking in the neighborhood is also fine if you can find a spot.
Is there handicapped parking? If you or loved ones have special needs, several handicapped parking spots are located along the edge of the parking lot by the softball field
Where do I find Folk Fest merchandise?  The merch tent is located along the south side of the main stage lawn.
May I bring lawn chairs, blankets, tents?  Yes, blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged.  Please keep all tents, however, along only the north edge of the main stage lawn near the trees, and please do not block the view of the main stage for anyone behind you.  Be kind. :)
May I bring my pets?  Yes!  We love pets.  Please keep your beloved furry friends on leashes to protect them and others.
What about my children?  The festival is very child-friendly, with many fun and educational activities scheduled for children throughout the day.  See kids' tab and schedule.
Since I'm bringing my children, may I bring my alcohol?  Yes, but please drink responsibly--and no bottles, please, to protect the children and others from broken glass. Please drink responsibly and be a good role model for the children--and please help keep the park clean.
May I take alcohol outside of the main stage lawn area?  No.  Please keep all alcohol in the main lawn area--not in the art market, food, or children's lower shelter house area.
What if I see underage drinking or intoxicated patrons?  Please let any committee member or law enforcement officer know.  Anyone drinking under 18 or anyone publicly intoxicated runs counter to the family-friendly spirit of the Ferdinand Folk Festival.  Creating a safe space for all ages in the park and ensuring safe travels home for everyone are of utmost importance to the festival committee and the Town of Ferdinand.  The open, community nature of the festival and the emphasis on creating a healthy environment contribute to the event's uniqueness in the region.
What if I hear profanity and inappropriate language in the park?  Especially since we are a family-friendly event, please report any inappropriate language to any committee member.
What else can be brought to the fest? We encourage blankets and lawn chairs. Tents may be placed along only the north edge of the main stage lawn.  Even there, please be sure that everyone behind you can see the main stage.  Be kind. :)
May I bring my own food?  Yes, picnic baskets and coolers are fine.  We also have about 15 food and dessert vendors serving excellent and diverse fare. We encourage everyone to support them.
What about trash?  We encourage everyone to be good stewards of the park.  Please pick up all trash and recycle all aluminum and plastic in the numerous containers found throughout the park, and please place all other trash in the marked containers.
What if I lose a personal item?  Please check with committee members at the merch tent or see any committee member wearing a neon green shirt.
I would like to enter the fourth annual Ferdinand Folk Festival Singer-Songwriter Contest.  How do I enter?  The contest announcement generally is made public in the spring.  Please check our website news and Facebook page often and feel free to write a message in the Contact Us tab on our homepage.  In the meantime, we encourage you to keep writing and performing, and please consider sharing your work with others.  Committee members might also be able to help you book a fun concert at one of several intimate venues in the community--with more on the way!  Exciting times for listening venues in Ferdinand!  Stay tuned. No pun intended! :)
I would like to suggest a band to play at a benefit concert or at the Folk Fest, an art vendor, an event for children, a workshop topic and/or leader, a Tent Talk speaker, a cool feature, an environmentally friendly idea, etc.  Whom do I contact?  Write to "Contact Us" on the tab our homepage and if possible, please provide links, YouTube videos, etc.
I really want to be a vendor for the Ferdinand Folk Fest. Where do I find this information? Click on our Vendor tab, and the info is at the bottom.
I would like to leave a testimonial about the festival.  What is the best way to do that?  You can officially rate the festival on our Facebook page, or you could send a note to Contact Us.  We would like to add a testimonial page to our website--so please consider sharing your thoughts.
How can I become a volunteer or become more involved in the planning of the festival?  We'd love your help especially if you have some specific gift(s) to offer such as filming, photography, writing, researching, public relations, organizing, fundraising, event planning, etc.  It's fun, and you meet some great people.  Contact any committee member.  Members are John Bertges, Ali Daunhauer, Brooke Daunhauer, Collin Daunhauer, Rock Emmert, Sue Fink, Anna Hagedorn, Demi Jahn, Town Manager Chris James, Kris Lasher, Allie Pund, Brett Pund, Brent Sicard, Emi Steczyk, and Aaron Trafton.

FFF printable schedule sm