The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has appointed Notting Hill Carnival CEO Matthew Phillip as its new chair.

Phillip is the CEO of Carnival development agency Carnival Village Trust, and CEO of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd; the organisation that manages the Notting Hill Carnival. He is also the managing director of Mangrove Carnival Arts CIC, encompassing the Mangrove Mas band.

He succeeds Jim Mawdsley, who announced in February at AIF’s Festival Congress that he would be stepping down after a seven-year tenure.

Phillip will work alongside the AIF Board, including We Are The Fair CEO Nick Morgan who was named AIF vice chair in 2020, and AIF CEO Paul Reed.

Reed said, “Matthew brings a wealth of relevant experience in governance and leadership as the CEO of the globally renowned Notting Hill Carnival, among other important roles.

“It remains a critical time for AIF as we emerge from the worst effects of the pandemic. Our members are facing some very difficult trading conditions, and we have a renewed focus on climate action, audience welfare and diversity. AIF’s role as a collective voice and support network to our members remains vital and I look forward to working with Matthew to ensure that the organisation evolves and continues to be a powerful advocate for the independent festival sector.”

Phillip said, “The AIF has shown itself to be an incredible champion for independent festival operators – no more so than in recent years, both during the pandemic and what is still now a very difficult time for promoters all over the country. It’s with great pride that I take on the role of AIF Chair. I look forward to offering my experience and expertise to further the organisation’s great work and help it evolve to meet today’s challenges.”