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A working group including the Events Industry Forum (EIF), Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) and Attitude Is Everything have today, 15 April, published updated guidance for festival organisers.

The document is designed to provide support and strategic direction for festival organisers in the planning of festivals until the results of the Government’s Events Research Programme (ERP) and reviews on social distancing and Covid-Status Certification are delivered later this summer.

The document builds upon planning considerations published last year on the Purple Guide website and was produced in collaboration with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Public Health England (PHE) to determine how music festivals could safely reopen with Covid-19 mitigation measures in place.

The interim guidance briefing note was collated and written by Emma Parkinson (Coventry University) and Jennifer Mackley (Mackley Projects and Events Ltd).

As well as providing direction until the conclusions of the ERP, the briefing note has been developed to:

  • Consider the primary scenarios and operational issues that may arise when planning and delivering an event during Covid restrictions and beyond
  • Provide an understanding of the risks in operational areas to support a proportionate and measured approach in planning
  • Outline practical, operational steps that may be considered to deliver safe events in accordance with relevant legislation of the day
  • Support event organisers and multi-agency partners to fully understand the risk of independent activities to wider public health.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said, “This interim guidance briefing provides strategic direction to festival organisers and includes practical mitigation measures to help them continue to plan for this summer and beyond. I’d like to thank Emma Parkinson and Jennifer Mackley in particular for their work, and colleagues from across the festival sector and within DCMS and PHE for their contributions to this important step in ensuring that festivals can return safely”.

Steve Heap, General Secretary of The Association of Festival Organisers added, “Having lost almost all of the industry’s 2020 events, festival organisers are very keen to stage whatever is safely possible over the remainder of this year’s season. To do that, clear guidance is needed. The publication of this document, free to all on the Purple Guide website, provides that guidance, written by experienced festival managers with the leadership of AIF.”

Jim Winship, Secretary of the Events Industry Forum said, “Festivals form an important part of the outdoor event economy and also contribute significantly to social wellbeing. They also take many forms and this guidance should help to enable at least some festivals to go ahead this summer.”

The guidance is live on The Purple Guide site here.

Additionally, the group is hosting a webinar with various contributors outlining the briefing note and taking questions. Details will be announced shortly on the AIF website here.