Join fellow entrepreneurs, nerds, geeks, hackers, foodies, and creatives from the Midwest in an 8-day celebration of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Event Interest

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Forward Festival?

It is an 8 day festival with events covering the greater Madison area. The events are hosted by business owners, community organizations, nonprofits, clubs and anybody else interested in hosting an event.

Who can host a Forward Fest event?
  • Anyone can host!
  • Forward Fest is run using an open, federated format.
What are the requirements to host an event?

Anyone can host an event during Forward Fest as long as the event:

Is open and inclusive

  • Your event must be open to the general public. You can sell tickets or require registration, but anyone who is interested must be able to buy a ticket and attend.

Cross promote

  • Hosts must cross-promote the Festival at large. The Festival, in exchange, will promote your event.
  • Hosts must recognize Festival sponsors, both verbally and with display of signage provided by the Festival.

Is related to entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity

How do I host an event during Forward Fest?

The first step to hosting an event is filling out the interest form / application on the website. Once you’ve expressed interest, we’ll follow up with the form where we collect your full event details, and let you know of any questions.

When do Forward Pass sales open?

Forward Pass sales open on Wednesday, June 26 and close on Wednesday, August 7.

What is the mission/vision for the Forward Festival?

Forward Fest Mission
Forward Fest is an 8-day festival in Madison, for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs with locally organized events to connect and inspire innovation featuring all aspects of entrepreneurship.

Forward Fest Vision
The Festival promotes Madison as a leading region in entrepreneurial success through supporting the growth of the entrepreneurs by connecting them with organizations, individuals, and the greater community.

What are the Forward Festival's core values?
  1. Entrepreneurs - Showcase and support local entrepreneurs and those seeking to create businesses.
  2. Opportunities - Create opportunities for Entrepreneurs to meet, collaborate, develop rich connections, and have fun together.
  3. Growth - Achieve a culture of growth through a number of events targeting diverse entrepreneurs, harnessing and promoting the creative and innovative ideas, and maximizing the avenues in which we expand our entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  4. Inclusion - Forward Festival welcomes entrepreneurs of every identity and demographic to all levels of participation. This includes design, planning, facilitation, and participation.

Special Thanks To…