Folkmoot generates $9.2 million economic impact

Folkmoot USA had a $9.2 million impact on Western North Carolina in 2013, according to an economic impact study conducted by Tom Tveidt of SYNEVA Economics.

The study included the Western North Carolina region but focused on Haywood County, showing that Folkmoot’s overnight visitors spent $6.6 million during their visit. Outside day-trippers spent an additional $89,000 in Haywood County.

Only overnight and outside day-trip visitors were included in Folkmoot’s study.

“By tracking Festival spending as it moves through the local economy, we were able to measure the important role it plays in supporting jobs, adding income and generating tax revenues,” Tveidt said. 

The economic activity generated from Folkmoot USA supports 101 jobs in Haywood as well as $1 million in additional tax revenues.

After 30 years of focusing on the annual summer festival, Folkmoot is becoming a more sustainable organization with plans to offer year-round programs. The expanded cultural programs will more closely reflect Folkmoot’s sister organizations throughout the world who are also members in CIOFF®, International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Art. CIOFF® promotes the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage through dance, music, games and other arts in partnership with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).

Folkmoot USA, based in Waynesville, is a non-profit that relies upon donations, sponsorships, Friends of Folkmoot members, ticket sales and grants to put on the Folkmoot Festival and other programs each year. The festival has held the title “Top 20 Event” by the Southeast Tourism Society for 22 years and was named a “Top 100 Event” by the American Bus Association.

SYNEVA Economics is based in Western North Carolina and conducts economic impact assessments for clients throughout the United States, most recently completing studies for UNC Asheville, the Boy Scouts of America’s National Scouting Center, and the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport.

For more information, to make a donation or to purchase tickets to the 2014 Folkmoot Festival that runs July 18-27, go to or 877.365.5872.

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