The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has revealed details of its flagship event, Festival Congress. The two-day industry gathering will return to Cardiff in October with a “Pseudoscience” theme. The event will take place on October 30 and 31 at Wales Millennium Centre and pay homage to the nonsensical and weird experiments made by scientists and festival promoters alike.
The event will be led by a keynote from artistic director and CEO of Manchester International Festival, John McGrath. In addition, there will be quick fire talks from author Zoe Cormier about her book Sex, drugs and rock n roll: The science of hedonism and the hedonism of science, and John Kampfner, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, who will speak about creative industry “red lines” on Brexit. Dr Julia Jones, CEO of Found in Music will discuss her forthcoming book The Rock n Roll guide to staying alive, exploring the lifelong effects of music on human behaviour and the positive effects that music has on well-being.
There will also be a Question Time-style panel exploring political issues in relation to festivals, with other key topics including event security, welfare, booking processes, up scaling small festivals and creative production.
A headline panel discussion will also explore the next steps of AIF’s Safer Spaces campaign, which reiterated the zero tolerance approach that festivals have to sexual assault with a 24-hour coordinated website blackout in May.
The Festival Congress full programme will be announced in September. For more details, click here.