Festival Congress 2025 – Tender

27 Nov 2023

Festival Congress is AIF’s annual flagship event and the largest gathering of independent festivals in the UK, with 350 industry delegates expected to attend in 2024. Attended by 74% of AIF members on average, the Congress has rapidly evolved to become a fixture and must attend event in the festival industry calendar, selling out every iteration.

Festival Congress began in 2014, spending 4 years in Cardiff supported by Welsh Government, before moving onto Sheffield for 2018 and 2019. Festival Congress was relaunched post pandemic in 2022 and took place in Bristol, returning there in 2023 and 2024. 2024 will mark three years of Festival Congress being held in Bristol, after a successful bid to bring the event to the city by the local council. The Congress has previously taken place in Sheffield and Cardiff.

The tender is now available for any local authorities, venues or organisations who would like to host the annual gathering from 2025.

On the tender, Rostron said: “The teams behind independent festivals are based all over the UK, so we always look to take Festival Congress to different parts of the four nations to be as open, honest and fair to everyone. This particular tender process is simple and speedy, and offers an opportunity for anyone who would like to bring the Congress to their area a chance to do so.”

Festival Congress is a unique event and an unrivalled opportunity for businesses to present their services to many of the ‘difficult to reach’ decision makers at festivals. 

The conference has a progressive and innovative format, including high profile keynotes, engaging panel sessions, TED x style quick fire lightning talks, breakout workshops and fireside chats with experts and inspiring personalities from across the festival and events world.

This process is open to all areas of the four nations of the UK, including all the places Congress has already visited since its inception in 2014.

Applications should be sent to AIF CEO John Rostron on john@aiforg.com. The deadline for applications is midnight on 31st December 2023. 

We will engage with you during January 2024 and we intend to secure an agreement ready to be announced at Festival Congress 2024 on Thursday 1st February.

Click here to access the Festival Congress 2025 tender.