The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) held its Annual General Meeting today, during which 17 new members, three new board members and a new vice chair were announced.

The online event saw We Are The Fair CEO Nick Morgan named AIF vice chair, with Boomtown Fair director of communications and strategy Anna Wade, Black Deer’s operations director Chris Russell-Fish and Elderflower Fields organiser Stuart Balkham joining the organisation’s board.

AIF CEO Paul Reed (pictured) said the organisation had grown its membership to 67 since its AGM last year, with its membership now having a collective events capacity of 900,000. New members include Shindig Festival, We Are FSTVL, Ealing Summer Festivals, Radar Festival, King’s Jam, The Mighty Hoopla, Noisily and Red Rooster.

Reed said, “It feels like a strange time to be growing in size but, more than ever, independent festivals understand the value of the collective and a spirit of mutual support – something that is at the core of AIF’s mission as a representative body. We exist to fight your corner and, particularly in times of crisis, we have felt real strength in numbers.”

He went on to praise event organisers and said the independent festival sector had proven to be incredibly resilient during the Covid-19 crisis: “AIF may yet emerge from this stronger, with a more engaged membership and a louder collective voice heard clearly across Government and the wider public.”

He added: “AIF will remain nimble, responsive and here to support and represent its members. This year has proven, above all else, that we can all rise to a challenge.”

The event also saw a keynote speech by Ruth Daniel, CEO and artistic director of In Place Of War – a global organisation that uses creativity as a tool for positive change in places of conflict.