AIF announces full Festival Congress 2022 programme

Speakers from Black Lives In Music, Vision Nine, NME, The Mighty Hoopla and Boomtown Fair confirmed. Festival Congress set for Bristol on February 15

London, 24th January 2022 The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has revealed the full programme for its Festival Congress 2022, taking place in Bristol on February 15.

As well as the already announced headline conversation between The F-List For Music’s Brix Smith and Vick Bain with The Guardian’s Laura Snapes, confirmed sessions include an opening keynote from Black Lives In Music co-founder Roger Wilson.

A ‘State Of Independence’ panel will see leading festival organisers offer key insights and reflections on ongoing challenges heading into the next festival season. The panel will consist of Jamie Tagg (Mighty Hoopla), Steven Campbell (Eskimo Dance), Lyndsey Wollaston (Vision Nine- Boardmasters, NASS) and Emma Holling (Underneath The Stars), and will be moderated by Andrew Trendell (Senior News Reporter, NME).

There will also be a series of ‘Status Update’ sessions consisting of 10-minute talks from experts on various key topics and crucial issues as festival organisers head into the season.

The Status Update line-up is as follows:

The Impact Of Brexit – David Martin (CEO, Featured Artists Coalition)

Festival Funding – Lucy Stone (No Stone Unturned)

Event Insurance And Reinsurance – Tim Thornhill and Tim Rudland (Tysers)

Working With Traders – Roxy Bentley (NCASS)

Covid And Safety Protocols – Jen Mackley (Mackley Projects and Events) and Emma Parkinson (Coventry University)

Staffing And Volunteering – Rob Wilkinson (My Cause)

Supply Chain Issues – Liz Madden (No Nonsense group)

There will also be a series of roundtable discussions on environmental impact in association with Vision 2025 and in-depth workshops on funding, crisis communications and digital marketing.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said: “In many ways, this year’s Festival Congress feels like the most important we’ve ever held. The pandemic has made an already challenging environment even more so as we return to the fields, and it’s important to offer members and the wider festival community an opportunity to connect in person. There is so much for festival organisers to discuss – from the latest operational considerations to stretched supply chains, diversity, climate action and the effects of Brexit. This year’s programme of subjects and speakers brings a breadth of insight, experience and expertise that will really benefit independent festival promoters.”

This year’s Festival Congress takes place at Bristol’s M Shed, followed by a festival-themed party at Lost Horizon – an independent venue launched by the team behind Glastonbury’s legendary Shangri La area.

Over 50 festival companies are already signed up to attend the 2022 edition of the Festival Congress. With more than 350 individual attendees each year, AIF’s Festival Congress is a must-attend fixture in the festival business calendar.

Visit for tickets, full line up and more information.


About AIF

The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is the UK’s leading national not for profit festival trade association representing the interests of 90 UK music festivals, ranging from 500 to 75,999 capacity. Our members collectively entertain over one million fans every summer and AIF represents over 40% of all festivals in the UK that are 5,000+ capacity. AIF member festivals include some of the most successful and innovative festivals in the UK including the likes of Boomtown Fair, Shambala, Boardmasters, End Of The Road, Bluedot and many more. Find out more at

The festival sector generates an estimated £1.76billion GVA for the UK annually (Carey & Chambers, ‘Valuing Live Entertainment’, June 2020) with at least 10% of this directly benefitting local businesses and economies according to data accumulated by AIF over ten years of annual audience surveys.

The festival sector also supports 85,000 jobs and according to UK Music’s ‘Music by Numbers’ 2020 report, over 5m people attended a festival in 2019 (in comparison to 2.7m in 2012).


The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is the UK’s leading national not for profit festival trade association representing the interests of 105 UK music festivals, ranging from 500 to 80,000 capacity.