Highly experienced independent festival operator Fiona Stewart (pictured) said she will stand down as an executive board member of the Concert Promoters Association (CPA) after nine years in the role.
The owner and managing director of the 25,000 capacity Green Man festival, Stewart became the first woman to hold the position at the CPA. The highly respected events professional has built Green Man into one of the UK’s most successful festivals, prior to which she was credited for bringing The Big Chill Festival back from the brink of financial ruin and developing it into a 35,000 capacity event.
Stewart has advised Government for more than 30 years, more recently as chair of the Business Group advising the fulfilment of the UK and Welsh Governments’ £120 million Mid Wales Growth Scheme. Her specialism in the psychology of crowd behavior has been used by the Home Office in developing the legislation that led to the formation of the 2003 Event License, and for the British Council and Foreign Office in assessing the safety of the newly emerging touring destinations in China, Eastern Europe, Brazil and India in the early noughties. In 2001, Stewart developed the Festival Control Method which was used for the first time at The Big Chill and is now used throughout the festival industry
“Fiona kicks down doors for us to follow.” – WOMAD’s Chris Smith
Stewart said she intends to divert the time freed up by leaving the CPA on expanding the Green Man Trust; the charitable arm of Green Man festival which has supported more than 10,000 people since its launch a decade ago.
She said, “It’s been an honour to be an executive board member of the CPA, who’s commitment to protect UK live music is outstanding, particularly in relation to the challenges of the pandemic and Brexit. I hope whoever takes my place will come from the growing pool of talented promoters less represented within our industry.”
Craig Stanley, CEO Marshall Arts Management and executive board member of the CPA said, “Fiona is a fantastic ambassador for the live music industry and her departure will be a great loss to the CPA Executive. As the driving force behind one of the truly great independent festivals in the UK, she could always be relied upon to add to the discussion in a positive and constructive way. She continues to be a fantastic role model for female executives entering the business and I wish her every success in all her future ventures.”
WOMAD International festival director, and CPA member, Chris Smith said, “Fiona kicks down doors for us to follow. She developed the boutique festival concept, and Festival Control Method now used at events internationally. She ran the first large event in Wales following Covid, which had the lowest infection rate in the UK at a large event. [Fiona] restarted the Welsh economy post Covid by restoring business confidence shattered by lock down giving thousands needed work. That she did this as an independent without test funding was the most courageous thing I have ever seen in my career. Fiona is festival royalty and whatever’s next will be in the spirit of innovation, creativity and ethics which imbues everything she does.”