The Association of Independent Festivals has announced details of its AIF Festival Congress at Bristol’s M Shed Museum on 15 February, which will include a headline session with Brix Smith.

A former guitarist and songwriter with The Fall, Smith will be interviewed at the congress by The Guardian’s deputy music editor Laura Snapes.

Smith, who was recently announced as president of The F list for Music will discuss the mission to achieve gender balance at UK festivals.

The F-List for Music is a not-for-profit organisation set up to help female musicians gain greater representation and professional opportunities in the UK music industry.

The Festival Congress will also feature an opening keynote from Bristol’s Night-Time Economy advisor Carly Heath, and a series of Status Check sessions consisting of 10-minute talks from experts on topics crucial to the 2022 season including Covid-19, the impact of Brexit, insurance, volunteers, the supply chain, and working with traders.

There will also be in-depth workshops and roundtables on a range of topics including funding, sustainability, diversity, equality and inclusion, and digital marketing.

A festival themed party will follow the conference, taking place at Lost Horizon, featuring Guilty Pleasures DJs and dancers.

The AIF said more than 30 independent festival organisers and 100 delegates have already signed up to attend the congress. Attendees include festival organisers from the likes of Boomtown Fair, Shambala, End Of The Road, Liverpool Sound City and Boardmasters and many more.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said, “It’s a privilege to have someone of Brix’s stature and experience at next year’s Festival Congress to discuss the critical issue of gender balance at UK festivals. This is a headline session that will no doubt be incredibly engaging for the hundreds of delegates set to join us in Bristol for what will be an important stop off on the journey to the 2022 season.”

Tickets are on-sale now via event sponsors Gigantic at