The International Festival Forum (IFF) has named agent and festival promoter John Giddings as its keynote at the first edition of the new global music festival industry event.

As an agent, Giddings’ roster is a who’s who of the music world (including Madonna, U2, Sting, Genesis, Pharrell Williams, Iggy Pop & Lady Gaga) while as a festival promoter, Giddings is responsible for resurrecting the Isle of Wight Festival, one of the UK’s largest summer events.

Giddings completes a conference programme that focuses on the interrelationship between music festivals and booking agents.

Other topics include The Therapy Session: Difficult Engagements as Glastonbury’s Ben Challis airs the top five grievances between festival bookers and booking agents in a bid to build better understanding between the two camps.

Loyalty vs Profit sees session chair Stefan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio) look at the growing trend of agents and festivals booking direct with each other, cutting out middle agents and local promoters.

Meanwhile, Festivals are Dead: Long Live the Festival! sees chair Dany Hassenstein (Paléo Festival) examine the formulas for success in a post-headliner festival world.

Workshops taking place over IFF include Data & Audience Insight presented by Dan Brown (AXS) and Karim Fanous (Music Ally); and Better Brand Partnerships hosted by Jeremy Paterson (IF Media Consultancy) featuring experts from the brand agency world.

Ruude Berends from Networking Music, a co-organiser on IFF said: “With some of the festival and booking agency world’s leading lights in attendance, the morning conference and workshop sessions of IFF aim to deliver both knowledge and insight into this vibrant industry.”