The National Folk Festival announced today the first group of artists who will be performing in downtown Greensboro from September 9 – 11, 2016. The 76th National Folk Festival in 2016 marks the event’s second year of its three-year residency in Greensboro.

Last fall, the 75th National Folk Festival attracted more than 102,000 attendees to downtown Greensboro for the FREE, three-day weekend. Based on survey data, organizers expect attendance to grow substantially in 2016—by as much as 30% or more. “Audience response was overwhelmingly clear: the Festival was a big hit!” said Tom Philion, President and CEO of ArtsGreensboro, one of the co-producers of the Festival, along with the National Council for the Traditional Arts. “Remarkably, 98 – 100% of survey respondents said they would be back in 2016. That’s a great predictor of strong attendance for the next Festival.”

Approximately 300 artists—musicians, dancers, storytellers, and craftspeople—will take part in the National Folk Festival, with more than 30 different musical groups performing on as many as seven outdoor performance venues throughout downtown Greensboro. The nine artists announced today include:

Over 40 people of different backgrounds—and with a deep knowledge of traditional music and art forms—came together from across North Carolina to serve as the local Festival Programming Advisory Committee. This committee’s role is to consider—and help the National Council for the Traditional Arts select—the artists who will perform at the National Folk Festival each year.

“We’re delighted to be bringing an entirely new group of outstanding performers to North Carolina for the 76th National Folk Festival,” said Julia Olin, Executive Director of the National Council for the Traditional Arts. “The cultural traditions of our nation are so rich, deep, and diverse, and there’s so much cultural territory to cover, that the festival never repeats artists from year to year. As always, though, each and every one of them is among the most exceptional practitioners of his or her artistic tradition.”

To learn more about these artists and their stories, please visit The National Folk Festival will feature individual artists on its Facebook page ( and on social media (#NCFolkFest) throughout the rest of February.

More performers will be announced as they are confirmed.