AIF’s Festival Congress will return to Bristol on 1 February, featuring speakers from organisations such as Vision: 2025, Notting Hill Carnival and Team Love.

This year will see Festival Congress move to Bristol Beacon – a larger venue following 2022’s sell-out event. The conference will cover key topics for festival organisers via lightning talks and extended workshops, beginning with a presentation by Ticketsellers CEO Phil Hayes, discussing the effects of the cost of living crisis on ticket buying habits.

The event will be opened with an address from Matthew Phillip of Notting Hill Carnival and current AIF Chair.

Other topics covered during the conference include sustainability, crowd management, technology and disability, business rates in 2023 and tips for accessing funding for festivals. There will also be a number of breakout sessions.

Alongside Hayes, other speakers at this year’s event include Chris Johnson (Vision: 2025), Gideon Feldman (Attitude Is Everything), Rowan James (Beat Blocks), Josephine Declerck (Get A Room), Lynne Maltman (Music Support), Ian Sloan (Bankier Sloan), Howard Monk (The WRD) and Pauline Bourdon (Team Love).

The conference will be followed by an after-party at Bristol’s Loco Klub, and will include dedicated networking time followed by a silent disco, with light installations from sculptural lighting artist Jack Wimperis and a flooring installation from Beat Blocks.

AIF CEO John Rostron said, “We’re delighted to reveal the full programme for this year’s Festival Congress. It’s one of my favourite days of the year – a brilliant moment where so many people involved in presenting and running festivals – or keen to start up their own festival – get together for one long day of learning, listening, sharing and networking. I’m looking forward to a really productive time back in Bristol.”