The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has launched the programme for its Festival Congress 2022.

The event, which will take place at Bristol’s M Shed on February 15, will involve speakers including The F-List For Music’s Brix Smith and Vick Bain, The Guardian journalist Laura Snapes and Black Lives In Music co-founder Roger Wilson.

AIF said a State Of Independence panel will see festival organisers offer insights and reflections on ongoing challenges heading into the next festival season. The panel will involve Mighty Hoopla festival director Jamie Tagg, Eskimo Dance CEO Steven Campbell, Vision Nine Group MD Lyndsey Wollaston and Underneath The Stars festival director Emma Holling.

There will also be a series of Status Update sessions consisting of 10-minute talks from experts on key issues. The line-up is as follows:

The Impact Of Brexit – Featured Artists Coalition CEO David Martin

Festival Funding – No Stone Unturned director Lucy Stone

Event Insurance And Reinsurance – Tysers client director Tim Rudland and entertainment & sport director Tim Thornhill

Working With Traders – NCASS head of marketing Roxy Bentley

Covid And Safety Protocols – Mackley Projects and Events director Jen Mackley and Emma Parkinson course director Coventry University

Staffing And Volunteering – My Cause director Rob Wilkinson

Supply Chain Issues – No Nonsense Group director Liz Madden

There will also be a series of roundtable discussions on environmental impact in association with Vision 2025.

AIF CEO Paul Reed (pictured) said, “In many ways, this year’s Festival Congress feels like the most important we’ve ever held. The pandemic has made an already challenging environment even more so as we return to the fields, and it’s important to offer members and the wider festival community an opportunity to connect in person. There is so much for festival organisers to discuss – from the latest operational considerations to stretched supply chains, diversity, climate action and the effects of Brexit.”

The event will be followed by a festival-themed party at Lost Horizon. Tickets can be purchased here.