19th - 22nd October 2023, Manchester

English Folk Expo is the annual gathering for music industry representatives with an interest in the folk, roots and acoustic music sector in England.

We welcome anyone either working or volunteering in any part of the music sector to Manchester to network, innovate and discover with delegates from the UK and across the world at a showcase of more than 50 export-ready artists within this broad and diverse genre.

EFEx runs from Thursday morning to late Saturday night. 2023 dates are 19th – 22nd October. EFEx is held the weekend before WOMEX each year, with WOMEX starting on the Wednesday following EFEx.

In 2023, we are also delighted to host the European Folk Network conference alongside our showcase.


English Folk Expo welcomes UK and international music industry to Manchester each October. It is the only dedicated music industry event for this specialist genre taking place in England. If you consider yourself to be part of England’s folk, roots or acoustic music sector then this is the best place to network, learn, innovate and grow your organisation.

Each year we present more than 50 amazing export-ready artists in a range of established music venues. We are keen to invite promoters, bookers, festival organisers, programmers, labels, agents, managers and anyone who can actively engage with the event.

If you are based outside of the UK, we have a limited number of FREE places available. Please contact our Sales Director, Terry O’Brien to discuss free and discounted places as well as to be considered for our small bursary fund.

A delegate pass gives the holder access to all networking events, all showcase performances, the trade fair and all conference sessions. Delegates are also listed in our bespoke App and are connected to other delegates to facilitate networking and relationship building.


For the first time in 2023, we have teamed up with our friends at Un-Convention to offer a conference programme aimed at those building a career in the music industry. This is for artists looking to find out more about the business side of building a sustainable career, or it might be for early career volunteers or professionals considering starting a business or growing expertise in the music industry.

Un-Convention takes place on Friday 20th & Saturday 21st October in Band On The Wall and Methodist Central Hall in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Celebrating it’s 15th anniversary, Un-Convention brings together hundreds of artists, managers, labels, promoters, and festivals from over 50 towns and cities across the UK to explore the current state of the sector, build networks, and to develop ideas and actions for a more sustainable, diverse, and equitable music industry.

A pass to attend Un-Convention costs £38.75 (including booking fee), but we are also offering a limited number of combined Un-Convention & Manchester Folk Festival Wristband tickets which give you access to Un-Convention and all Manchester Folk Festival performances (19th – 21st October), including the late night festival club where artists can mingle with 150+ English Folk Expo industry delegates – giving you a fantastic networking opportunity.

Purchasing the combined ticket costs £121.25 (including booking fee) and saves £21.50 on buying the events separately.

For more information about Un-Convention click here


We accept applications to showcase from folk, roots or acoustic musicians who are either English or resident in England. Applications to perform in 2023 are now closed.

Showcasing artists receive a fee and a free conference pass. They are listed in the delegate app. We strongly encourage showcasing artists to ensure that either they or their representative purchase a delegate pass.

Most showcasing artists perform on Manchester Folk Festival stages, with the remaining showcasing artists performing at English Folk Expo private delegate only showcases such as receptions.


From 2023, English Folk Expo will be based in Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter with venues including Band on the Wall, Halle St Peters and Night & Day. All showcasing venues are in a close proximity to each other (within 10mins walk). There are plenty of hotels, bars and restaurants nearby.

Arriving by air: Central Manchester is just 10 miles/15 minutes drive from Manchester Airport. For airlines flying into Manchester Airport click here.

Arriving by rail: There are three main stations in the cirt centre: Piccadilly, Oxford Road and Victoria. Both Victoria and Piccadilly are a 10-15min walk from the Northern Quarter. For train times, tickets and other information, you can search via the Trainline website.

Arriving by car: Manchester is well connected to the rest of the UK via excellent motorway links. The M60 ring road connects the city to motorways north, south east and west. A list of Northern Quarter car parks can be found here.

Where to stay: There are loads of hotels to suit every taste and price point all within a short walk of the Northern Quarter venues. We recommend shopping around for the best deals and strongly encourage advance booking as Manchester can become expensive if you leave things until the last minute. We are pleased to work with Marketing Manchester who help to provide discounted hotel rates for those staying for the full three nights of the event. You can see what rates they have available HERE. Alternatively, you can search for other hotel availability HERE.


Our Partners

Join our mailing list

Folk fans Artists Music industry