Festival Congress returns to Bristol in February

More than 60 festivals already set to attend 2024 event. 2025 tender for AIF event now available.

London, 28th November 2023

Festival Congress will return to Bristol’s Beacon on February 1st 2024.

Produced by AIF, Festival Congress is the UK’s gathering of independent music festival organisers, promoters and key staff.

The 2024 edition will offer a day’s programme of lightning talks, roundtables and workshops between music festival organisations and freelancers, with key festival suppliers also in attendance to meet and network with operators.

The event will be sponsored by Ticketsellers following a successful partnership last year. Ticketsellers is one of the most used ticketing companies across AIF festival members.

Ticketsellers’ Phil Hayes will also deliver a lightning talk to delegates, bringing the company’s expertise and oversight of ticketing trends, data and innovation.

Elsewhere, breakout sessions will provide an opportunity for festival organisers to work through current operational and event issues, with bespoke sessions focusing on show stops, adapting to extreme weather, and improving festival marketing amongst others. A series of lightning talks will cover everything from festival safe hubs to future generations.

There will also be lots of time for networking, meeting and learning from fellow festival organisers. A full programme will be published in the coming weeks.

The Congress will be followed by an evening event in Bristol, yet to be announced, where attendees will be able to carry on the conversation.

Tickets have already been made available to AIF members and Friends of AIF suppliers. Already, over 60 different music festivals are set to attend the event.

Remaining tickets are now available for purchase by other independent festival professionals and freelancers, with a small number remaining for any other festival suppliers supporting the independent festival sector.

AIF CEO John Rostron said: “Festival Congress is always a key date for those working in the independent festival sector. A packed day of lightning talks and roundtable sessions sharing and learning from other festival operators and those supporting the festival ecosystem. Our 2023 event at Bristol Beacon was so strong  – from the very fun speed networking which got everyone connected from the off, through a day (and night) where we got the balance right between sitting and listening; engaging and sharing in roundtables, and space to eat well and chat well. We’ve some more space to explore in the venue for 2024 and have added some additional sessions to give the event even more width and depth.”

Visit the Festival Congress website for tickets and more information.

Alongside announcing the 2024 edition of Festival Congress, the tender is also now available for any local authorities, venues or organisations who would like to host the annual gathering from 2025.

2024 will mark three years of Festival Congress being held in Bristol, after a successful bid to bring the event to the city by the local council. The Congress has previously taken place in Sheffield and Cardiff.

On the tender, Rostron said: “The teams behind independent festivals are based all over the UK, so we always look to take Festival Congress to different parts of the four nations to be as open, honest and fair to everyone. This particular tender process is simple and speedy, and offers an opportunity for anyone who would like to bring the Congress to their area a chance to do so.”

More information about the tender process can be found here.


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.