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Working guidance published for UK festivals

The new framework, developed with input from DCMS and PHE, will be updated regularly to reflect legislation…

By IQ on 13 Oct 2020

Fans at Glastonbury 2017

A coalition of industry bodies has developed and published new guidance to help the festival sector mitigate risk and plan Covid-secure events, ahead of next summer.

The guidance, which will be continually updated, has been developed by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF); the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO); the Events Industry Forum (EIF), and Attitude Is Everything.

The working group also includes the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Public Health England (PHE) who provided input on the development of the guidance.

AIF CEO Paul Reed says: “Risk mitigation is what festival promoters do for a living, so the intent of this guidance is to outline Covid-19 specific planning considerations that will allow for bespoke risk assessment approaches in liaison with relevant authorities and agencies.”

General secretary of the AFO, Steve Heap, says: “Next summer may seem far away but, in terms of festival planning, it is right around the corner. UK festivals are a world-leading industry and, with tools such as this in place, we are ready to re-emerge and stage Covid safe and successful festivals in 2021. On behalf of AFO members, my thanks to colleagues at AIF for their work in developing this much-needed guidance.”

“With tools such as this in place, UK festivals are ready to re-emerge and stage Covid safe and successful festivals in 2021”

The new guidance, available for free on The Purple Guide website, outlines planning considerations – rather than prescriptions – with the purpose of supporting those in the festival sector, relevant authorities, and agencies in taking a bespoke risk assessment approach, where events are able to follow government guidelines and regulations.

It covers eight key themes and Covid-19 safety measures, including medical and welfare arrangements; crowd considerations; response plans; security; site adjustments; and specific mitigation measures.

As the guidance is updated regularly, members of the working group will run monthly webinars to update the festival sector and others. Agencies at a national level are being invited to provide input on an ongoing basis.

The guidance builds further on the EIF’s recently published guidance for other outdoor events, such as air shows, carnivals, firework displays, literature fairs, outdoor theatres and performing arts, which does not encompass large-scale popular music festivals.

The Music Festivals – Covid-19 Supplementary Guidance can be read in full here.


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