Tickets on sale and first details announced for Festival Congress 2016

21 Jun 2016

AIF Confirms Flagship Event Dates & Program

 The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), the London based trade association that represents UK festival organisers, has announced the dates of Festival Congress, 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, will play host to over 400 festival delegates and will be a celebration of the independent festival industry.

The program will, as always, include the Festival Congress Awards, which take place at The Depot Warehouse venue, with a street food festival banquet and Rob da Bank’s ‘Purple Rave’ tribute to Prince.


Awards categories will include ‘New Festival on the Block’, ‘Mind Blowing Spectacle’, ‘Festival live act of the year’ and ‘Smart marketing’.

Each year Festival Congress adopts a different theme and this year’s will be ‘Day of the Dead’, with production and props from House of Bestival.

Festival Congress has also announced its first speakers:


  • John Giddings (Isle of Wight Festival / Solo Agency) and Lee Denny (Leefest) will take part in a fireside chat entitled ‘Songs of Innocence and Experience.’


  • There will be a quick fire ‘Talking Heads’ sessions from Simon Parkes (Brixton Academy Founder) telling his incredible story of buying the venue for a £1 and turning it into one of Britain’s most iconic venues.


  • Sammy Andrews (Strategic Advisor to Music industry and Director of Entertainment Intelligence) will talk about the connections between streaming and ticketing and the potential of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) for the live industry.


  • There will also be a discussion led by Zac Fox (Kilimanjaro Live / NOWIE) exploring gender issues in the industry and possible solutions alongside a ‘Festival Frontiers’ panel in which the brightest minds in the industry will reflect on the 2016 season and discuss trends, challenges and the future festival landscape.


  • Finally, delegates can take part in a series of ‘Lucha Libre’ breakout sessions on topics ranging from city festivals to festival finance and refuel with a ‘Recovery Brunch’ following the awards.


More events and speakers will be announced in the near future.

Paul Reed, General Manager of AIF said, “Festival Congress is the one time in the year when independent festival professionals and the wider industry can get together and share their experiences so we have started putting together a fantastic program of events to maximize our time together. From our legendary Congress party and awards to a brilliant line up of speakers it’s going to be a really special, jam-packed couple of days.”

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.

Full ticket information can be found at at