Festival Congress 2017 programme revealed

association of indepedent festivals

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is to host a Safer Spaces panel at its upcoming Festival Congress, with speakers from Standon Calling, Rape Crisis and Safe Gigs for Women.

The event takes place on 30 and 31 October in Cardiff, with panellists on the Safer Spaces session including Kate Lloyd (Features Editor, Time Out), Rebecca Hitchen (Rape Crisis South London), Tracey Wise (Safe Gigs for Women) and Ami Lord (Standon Calling).

The Festival Congress will also feature a Question Time style political debate with UK Music chief executive Michal Dugher, plus sessions on counter terrorism training, crisis communications, digital marketing trends and direct licensing.

Elsewhere, AIF is partnering with Musicians Union for a discussion of gender and line-ups at festivals featuring MU artists and AIF promoters.

There will also be a Sustainability Focus session curated by Shambala festival, plus quick fire talks on booking artists by Ian Evans (IME Music), upscaling events and managing growth by Nick Morgan (The Fair) and the progress of the Fanfair Alliance on secondary ticketing by Annabella Coldrick (chief executive of the Music Managers Forum).

Previously announced speakers include a keynote from John McGrath (artistic director, Manchester International Festival) and Zoe Cormier (author of Sex, Drugs & Rock N Roll: The Science of Hedonism and the Hedonism of Science).

Paul Reed, AIF general manager, said: ‘Following an eventful season, Festival Congress is an invaluable forum to debate the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the festival sector.

‘We’re pleased to announce our most eclectic group of speakers and topics yet. From a day at the museum to the awards party and a packed day of festivals under the microscope, the event promises be a fun and informative couple of days.’

The Independent Festival Awards takes place on the evening of 30 October at Depot, Cardiff, followed by a dedicated after party at The Big Top venue. Awards nominees will be announced in October.

Tickets to the AIF Festival Congress are on sale now. For more info, please see http://aiforg.com/festivalcongress/