The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced further details of its flagship event in Cardiff, Festival Congress.

Confirmed for October 30 and 31, the fourth annual Festival Congress will play host to more than 400 delegates and is expected to be the final year in Cardiff. The first day of the conference will take place at the National Museum Cardiff, with the second day at the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC).

The first day of the conference will see a headline panel discussion on AIF’s Safer Spaces campaign featuring Kate Lloyd, features editor at Time Out, Rebecca Hitchen, operations coordinator at Rape Crisis South London, Tracey Wise, founder of Safe Gigs for Women, and Ami Lord, general manager of Standon Calling, in addition to a Question Time-style political debate that will include Michael Dugher, CEO of UK Music,  and Christof Huber, general secretary of YouRope.

There will be 15 separate workshops on the second day, with topics ranging from counter terrorism training, crisis communications, digital marketing trends and staff welfare to direct licensing, festival growing pains, Instagram for live events delivered by Music Ally, and top tips for contingency planning delivered by The Event Safety Shop.

The Building New Worlds panel will explore how creative production, visual arts, décor, interactive experiences and installations contribute to a festival’s identity with some of the most creative brains in the industry including House of Bestival. There will be a sustainability focus session curated by Shambala in addition to new quick fire talks on booking artists by Ian Evans (IME Music), upscaling events and managing growth by Nick Morgan (The Fair) and the progress of the Fanfair Alliance on secondary ticketing by Annabella Coldrick (CEO of the Music Managers Forum).


Paul Reed, general manager of the AIF, said: “Following an eventful season, Festival Congress is an invaluable forum to debate the issues, challenges and opportunities facing the festival sector. We’re pleased to announce our most eclectic group of speakers and topics yet. From a day at the museum to the awards party and a packed day of festivals under the microscope, the event promises be a fun and informative couple of days.”

The Independent Festival Awards takes place on the evening of October 30 at DEPOT, Cardiff, followed by a dedicated after party at The Big Top venue.