The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has launched The Festival Congress, its annual flagship event.
Expected to be the largest ever gathering of independent festivals, The Festival Congress will take place 17-18 October, launching at the Wales Millennium Centre and then moving to Cardiff’s Angel Hotel on the second day.
Confirmed keynote speakers include Jude Kelly, artistic director of the Southbank Centre, Glastonbury and The Great Escape’s Martin Elbourne, Bestival’s Rob da Bank and John Rostron from the Welsh Music Foundation and Sŵn Festival.
“I’m proud that Wales has the support structure of an organisation such as the Welsh Music Foundation, which has been able to identify an opportunity for the AIF to create a new UK event and house it here in Cardiff,” said Rostron.
The AIF expects up to 400 people to attend the two-day event, including festival promoters, crew and suppliers from all over the UK. The event is also open to students and anyone hoping to work in the festival and events industry.
The Festival Congress will showcase emerging artists and touch on issues close to the AIF’s heart, including programming, marketing, creative and immersive elements and sustainable event management.
Rob da Bank founded the AIF in 2008 to represent the independent festival sector. Six years later, the association includes Bestival, WOMAD and Secret Garden Party among its 50 festivals.
“Everyone at AIF HQ is buzzing about bringing The Festival Congress to Cardiff, a city that knows how to work hard and then party, just like us lot,” said Rob da Bank. “I really hope it will become a key calendar event for the whole festival industry for many years to come and I look forward to being in the same place as all the best festivals in the UK.”
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