The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is the UK's leading non-profit festival trade association. Created to represent and empower independent festivals, there are various strands to our work:
Enabling festival organisers to connect with each other and take the temperature of the industry.
Providing a collective voice for the independent festival sector to Government, media, and wider industry.
Supporting members in growing and developing their businesses- access to training and experts, in addition to a free legal helpline and accountancy advice.
Free and discounted access to AIF’s annual flagship Festival Congress conference and party alongside various training and social events throughout the year.
Becoming an AIF member was invaluable for our business, especially as we expanded to multiple festivals. The AIF team work tirelessly to offer a support network to events organisers, facilitating the crucial share of information and allowing the independent festival sector to have a stronger voice in the industry.
Being a member of AIF is invaluable to Sound City, as an independent festival it's great to be part of a membership organisations that has our ideals and value at heart. Paul and his team have been so supportive... We're proud to be members.
We find the opportunity to attend AIF organised events helps us to get to know the organisers and their festivals. This helps our understanding which enables us to provide a much better service and ultimately more competitive premiums.
AIF membership has given me plenty of knowledge and insight into the festival industry... AIF members provide a support network amongst organisers and an open platform in which to talk to each other... As an organisation the AIF collectively and successfully fights bigger campaigns that individually, small independent festivals would be not able to achieve alone.
John is responsible for managing the UK’s leading festival representative body.
He leads on lobbying and advocacy on behalf of the independent festival sector. He oversees all AIF campaigns, communications, partnerships, events and development of strategy to support member festivals. He manages day-to-day operations of the Association and also curates the conference programme at Festival Congress, AIF’s annual flagship conference for the festival sector.
Prior to joining AIF John spent several years working as a freelance bid writer for music and arts organisations. During that time he also co-founded the Association of Independent Promoters, which he lead as Chair until his appointment here. Previously John was an independent concert and festival promoter, developing acts from grassroots music venues to Arenas, and co-founded the Welsh Music Prize, celebrating and championing the best new music from Wales.
John has many favourite festival moments, including the Gene Clark No Other Band tribute at End of the Road Festival 2014, a weekend of delight at one of Pictish Trail's festivals on the Isle of Eigg in a year he can't remember and all the highs and lows of running his own Swn Festival between 2007-2017.
Phoebe is the Membership & Operations Manager at the Association of Independent Festivals. Alongside managing all their membership processes, she also keeps on top of the general admin, AIF newsletter and membership events. Phoebe also leads of AIF's Safer Spaces at Festivals campaign and helped to launch their EDI policies and action plan in 2023.
Phoebe was previously Membership & Projects Coordinator at AIF as well as the Festival Congress Event Manager between 2018-2020, returning to the organisation in 2022. Prior to this she'd worked in Membership at the Music Managers Forum, and on the Artist & Manager Awards.
Favourite festival moment: going to a DJ set, up a mountain, in an igloo. Mad.
Adassa Dixon, an avid festival goer and music enthusiast, is a new Admin Assistant at AIF. She has a background in research, activism, and events planning.
Favourite festival moment: Snuggled between two hay bales in Shambala’s ‘Enchanted Forest’ listening to love songs.
Alongside this role with AIF, Dan is a Masters student studying Event Management. He also has a degree in Digital Photography and Radio Production. Dan's passion is Raves and Festivals - he has attended many and even organised his own Raves in Leeds.
Favourite Festival Moment: at a Festival or Rave is when the sun is coming up and I look around to see everyone still having fun. It’s the best feeling and atmosphere.
Alex Trenchard (Standon Calling)
Graham Main (Big Burns Supper)
Harad Smith (Valley Fest)
Joe Barnett (New Bohemian Music - We Out Here)
Jon Walsh (Shambala)
Kate Osler (AEI)
Lauren Down (End of the Road)
Penny Warner (Team Love)
Rebecca Ayers (Liverpool Sound City)
Zac Fox (Kilimanjaro)
Matthew Phillip (Notting Hill Carnival)
Nick Morgan (The Fair)