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The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is to introduce the First Minister For Festivals award at the Access All Areas Awards on 16 November at EartH (Evolutionary Arts Hackney).

Created to recognise and celebrate an individual MP whose work has contributed to the success of the festival sector in the past twelve months, the award will be presented by AIF CEO John Rostron at the event.

On the reasoning behind the launch of the award, which is set to be an ongoing category at the annual event, Rostron said, “Our members benefit greatly from the community that AIF has built over the years but, apart from that, the independent festival promoters we represent have always been, well, independent. They are well accustomed to fighting their own battles, overcoming obstacles and making things happen under their own steam.

“When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, however, they needed more support. We looked to government to help save our sector from lockdown, finding a number of key allies in the process. Since then, AIF has maintained a strong relationship with politicians from all sides, and we have seen more interest from MPs in the health of the UK’s independent festival market. There is, after all, a festival in every constituency.

“From the Culture Recovery Fund to The Future of UK Music Festivals inquiry and beyond, we want to recognise and celebrate the support we have received from key people in the corridors of power.”

The First Minister For Festivals is one of 17 award categories at the event. To be considered for an award enter here. Tickets can be purchased here.