Festival Congress – Core Programme Announced

05 Sep 2016

The Charlatans lead singer Tim Burgess and speakers from Secret Garden Party, Bluedot, The Eden Sessions and more join AIF flagship event in Cardiff.

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), the London based trade association that represents UK festival organisers, has announced the core programme and additional speakers for Festival Congress 2016, which will take place in Cardiff for the third year running later this year.

Confirmed for 1st and 2nd November 2016 Festival Congress, which will take place at the Wales Millennium Centre and DEPOT, will play host to over 400 delegates and will be a celebration of the independent festival industry.

New additions to the programme include:

A ‘Fireside chat’ with Tim Burgess (The Charlatans) that will cover Tim’s experiences at festivals, the Tim Peaks venue that he has taken to many independent festivals and his second book ‘Tim Book Two: Vinyl Adventures from Istanbul to San Francisco’. Tim Peaks will also feature at the Congress, serving coffee at the conference.

A headline panel discussion of the ground-breaking drugs testing service introduced at Secret Garden Party this year. Secret Garden Party Founder Freddie Fellowes will be joined by Professor Fiona Measham (The Loop), Superintendent Justin Bibby (North Cumbria Police) Steve Rolles (Transform) and Jon Drape (Ground Control) for a discussion of the key issues, results and next steps.

Further quickfire ‘Talking Heads’ sessions- These include Emma Brunjes (Director, EBP) who will discuss crafting immersive theatre experiences such as Alice’s Adventures Underground and The Game’s Afoot.

A ‘Festival Frontiers’ panel- featuring speakers including Ben Robinson (Director, Kendal Calling / BlueDot / Off the Record) and John Empson (Promoter, Eden Sessions and Programmer, Wilderness and Citadel) – this session will reflect on the 2016 season and recent trends in an attempt to map out the future festival landscape.

In-depth workshops on topics including virtual reality, YouTube, festival finance, legal advice for festivals and crime and security including weather planning and terrorism.

A break out session catering specifically for multi-venue city based festivals led by John Rostron (Promoter, Sŵn Festival and AIF Vice Chair).

The evening celebration and Festival Congress Awards takes place on the evening of the 1st November at DEPOT, Cardiff featuring street food, Rob da Bank and Tayo 3000’s ‘Purple Rave’ Prince tribute and a Tim Burgess DJ set.
Paul Reed, General Manager of AIF said, “Festival Congess is a fantastic forum to debate the issues and challenges facing the independent festival sector and to celebrate the continued successes of our members. There is a feeling within the AIF camp that this could be the best Congress yet. We are going from strength to strength with an amazing line-up of speakers this year covering a huge range of topics. We’ve also got some great social events lined up so it won’t be all work!”.

Tickets are on sale now, priced at £100 for AIF members, £135 to Friends of AIF and £185 general sale exclusively through headline event sponsor The TicketSellers.

PlayPass will be the RFID partner for the Congress and BIMM will again be the educational partner, delivering the satellite student sessions. Festival Congress is supported by the Major Events Unit of the Welsh Government.

For full ticket information and to see the complete list of speakers for Festival Congress , which also includes John Giddings (Isle of Wight Festival/Solo Agency), Lee Denny (LeeFest/Camp Wildfire), Sammy Andrews (Entertainment Intelligence), Simon Parkes (Live at the Brixton Academy) and Zac Fox (Kilimanjaro Live/NOWIE) go to www.festivalcongress.com