AIF announces Festival Congress Invitation to Tender for 2018-2020

04 Sep 2017

Festival Congress is AIF’s annual flagship event, a two-day conference, Independent Festival Awards and celebration of the festival industry. The event is the largest gathering of independent festivals in the UK, over 400 industry delegates attending each year. Following three consecutive sold-out events from the event’s inception in 2014, the Congress has rapidly evolved to become a fixture and must attend event in the festival industry calendar.

Festival Congress is a unique networking event, attended by many of the ‘difficult to reach’ decision makers and offering unique insight into the vibrant festival sector. Delegates attend from across the UK, with an average of 90% travelling from outside of the host city in the first three years.

Attendees include festival organisers and teams from the likes of Glastonbury, Bestival, Boomtown Fair, Secret Garden Party, Kendal Calling, Shambala, End of the Road, Tramlines, Liverpool Sound City and many more, with 83% of AIF members attending in 2016. Festival Congress has an international reach, with previous delegates and speakers from international markets such as Serbia and Colombia and aims to grow into being the largest Congress for independent festivals across Europe.

The event has resided in Cardiff, Wales for the initial three years, with the fourth year taking place this coming October 2017, also in Cardiff. In order to grow and develop, the Festival Congress is opening up to tender in search of a potential new home for 2018-2020.

A successful bidding council or location will be culturally rich, offering strong support with the marketing and delivery of the event and will facilitate a new dynamic for the Festival Congress to evolve over the next three years.

As an event which has previously taken up residency in a number of venues, ranging from traditional conference venues to warehouse venues for the awards element, the ability to provide a change of scenery in order to improve and evolve the dynamic of the event from the conference to the awards to the after party is key.

A successful tender will be based on the weighting outlined in the Invitation to Tender document. Key areas for consideration are funding and financial offer, culture, event support, adaptability and longevity of AIF Agreement.

To receive this invitation to tender and related documents, please contact or the AIF office on 020 8994 5599 (ext 2). You can find out more about this year’s event on the microsite-

The invitation to tender is live from today (Monday 4th September) and the deadline for submitting a tender is 12:00am on Tuesday 2nd October.  

It is AIF’s objective to make a final decision by Monday 16th October and to announce the location of Festival Congress 2018-2020 at this year’s event on 30th October. It is anticipated that the 2018 event will take place in the first week of November (w/c 5th November).