The Festival Stage brought together musicians, singers, and dancers from all program areas of the Festival to illustrate the musical traditions shared around the world. Workshops and concerts explored such topics as vocal styles, world dance traditions, sacred music, instrumental ensembles, occupational music, family music, and choral singing. A concert of processional music might compare a Mexican banda with a German marching band; a percussion workshop might bring together performers from Pakistan, Puerto Rico, and a Native American tribe for a stylistic comparison of drumming techniques. Evening concerts Thursday, Friday, and Saturday allowed each area to present a sampler of its week's program.
During the last four weeks of the Bicentennial Festival, the Festival Stage also featured a sampler of performances by musicians and dancers from throughout the U.S. who were brought expressly to perform there, helping to fill the gap created by the shorter schedule of the Regional America program.
The Festival Stage programming was coordinated by Frank Proschan, assisted by Diana Parker, Mike Herter, AI McKenney, Bill Pearson, and Nick Vaczek.