Festival Congress moves to Sheffield

AIF festival congress

The Association of Independent Festival’s (AIF) annual Festival Congress moves to Sheffield for this year’s edition and announces first raft of speakers.

The event will take place at the Crucible Theatre on 6 and 7 November, following four consecutive sold-out years in Cardiff.

The associated Independent Festival Awards will take place at 92 Burton Road, a warehouse venue in the city.

The congress offers networking opportunities and a platform for industry discussion via TEDx style talks, interactive workshops and fireside chats with industry experts.

Kaye Dunnings (creative director, Shangri-La, Glastonbury) is among the confirmed speakers, who will talk about the history of creative direction at festivals and how immersive design has evolved.

Other speakers also include founding member of Cabaret Voltaire, Stephen Mallinder, who will talk about his musical journey, Sheffield post-punk and the connections between the city and Cabaret Voltaire’s industrial music.

Author Rob Chapman (Psychedelia and Other Colours) will also be in attendance to deliver a condensed history of festivals and psychedelia.

Building on AIF’s recent Drastic On Plastic campaign, the event will have an Under the Sea theme, reflecting the global single-use plastic crisis and the prediction that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.

Dr Kerry Howell, associate professor in Marine Ecology at the University of Plymouth, will deliver a talk about how technology is enabling unprecedented access in exploring the deep sea, and Daniel Webb of the Everyday Plastic project will talk about why he turned a year’s worth of plastic into a giant mural.

AIF chief executive Paul Reed said: ‘The AIF team is excited to bring its Festival Congress to Sheffield this year, as it’s a fantastic festival city. The event is now a firm fixture for the independent festival community and these initial announcements are just the beginning for what will be an action packed and inspiring couple of days. This is the fifth year of the Festival Congress and the 10th anniversary of AIF – It promises to be a memorable one.’

Festival Congress is this year supported by Sheffield City Council, with tickets priced at £100 for AIF members, £135 to Friends of AIF and £185 general sale.

Please visit www.festivalcongress.com for more info.