Festival Congress will return to Bristol’s Beacon on 1 February 2024, organisers the Association of Independent Festival has announced.
More than 60 festivals are already set to attend the event. It will offer a day’s programme of lightning talks, roundtables and workshops between music festival organisations and freelancers, with festival suppliers also in attendance to meet and network with operators.
Breakout sessions will focus on show stops, adapting to extreme weather, and improving festival marketing among others. A series of lightning talks will cover topics such as festival safe hubs and future generations. A full programme will be published in the coming weeks. The Congress will be followed by an evening event in Bristol, yet to be announced.
The event will be sponsored by Ticketsellers following a partnership last year. Ticketsellers CEO Phil Hayes will also deliver a lightning talk to delegates.
Tickets have already been made available to AIF members and friends of AIF suppliers. Remaining tickets are now available for purchase by other independent festival professionals and freelancers, with a small number remaining for any other festival suppliers supporting the independent festival sector.
AIF CEO John Rostron said, “A packed day of lightning talks and roundtable sessions sharing and learning from other festival operators and those supporting the festival ecosystem. Our 2023 event at Bristol Beacon was so strong – from the very fun speed networking which got everyone connected from the off, through a day and night where we got the balance right between sitting and listening; engaging and sharing in roundtables, and space to eat well and chat well. We’ve some more space to explore in the venue for 2024 and have added some additional sessions to give the event even more width and depth.”
Alongside announcing the 2024 edition of Festival Congress, the tender is also now available for any local authorities, venues or organisations who would like to host the annual gathering from 2025. Next year will mark three years of Festival Congress being held in Bristol, after a successful bid to bring the event to the city by the local council. The Congress has previously taken place in Sheffield and Cardiff.