The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) in the UK has set dates and revealed initial speakers for this year’s Festival Congress – a conference event which attracts 400 delegates annually.
The event will take place on November 6 and 7 at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre for the first time, following four consecutive sold-out years in Cardiff.
Meanwhile, the AIF’s Independent Festival Awards, held alongside the Congress each year, will take place at Sheffield warehouse venue 92 Burton Road, with more information to follow.
A handful of initial speakers on the Festival Congress programme have been named, including Kaye Dunnings (Creative Director at Glastonbury’s Shangri-La), who will talk about the history of creative direction at festivals and how immersive design has evolved.
Other speakers confirmed so far include founding member of Cabaret Voltaire, Stephen Mallinder, who will talk about his musical journey, Sheffield post punk and the connections between the city and Cabaret Voltaire’s industrial music.
Author Rob Chapman (Psychedelia And Other Colours) will also be in attendance to deliver a condensed history of festivals and psychedelia.
Building on AIF’s recent Drastic On Plastic campaign, the event will have an ‘Under The Sea’ theme, reflecting the global single-use plastic crisis and the prediction that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.
Reflecting the theme, Dr Kerry Howell, Associate Professor in Marine Ecology at the University of Plymouth, will deliver a talk about how technology is enabling unprecedented access in exploring the deep sea; and Daniel Webb of the Everyday Plastic project will talk about why he turned a year’s worth of plastic into a giant mural.
The Festival Congress is supported by Sheffield City Council this year, with tickets on-sale now, available via festivalcongress.com
“This is the fifth year of the Festival Congress. It’s now a firm fixture for the independent festival community”
Paul Reed, AIF
AIF CEO Paul Reed (pictured) said: “The AIF team is excited to bring its Festival Congress to Sheffield this year, as it’s a fantastic festival city. The event is now a firm fixture for the independent festival community and these initial announcements are just the beginning for what will be an action packed and inspiring couple of days. This is the fifth year of the Festival Congress and the 10th anniversary of AIF – It promises to be a memorable one.”
Emma France, Marketing Manager- Business Tourism and Trade at Marketing Sheffield, said: “We’re delighted to welcome the Festival Congress to Sheffield. With an extensive offering of festivals all year round, including the likes of Tramlines, Doc/Fest and Sensoria to name just a few, the city has a buzzing festival scene so it’s a perfect fit for the event, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to showcase Sheffield to major industry players from the festival sector.”
Music Business Worldwide