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AIF welcomes six new board members

Representatives from End Of The Road, Kilimanjaro Live, AEI/El Dorado, Shambala, Boomtown Fair and Black Deer join the festival trade body's board of directors

By James Hanley on 12 Nov 2021

Paul Reed

The UK’s Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF) has announced six new board members.

As part of the organisation’s annual rotation, CEO Paul Reed welcomed Lauren Down (End Of The Road), Zac Fox (Kilimanjaro Live), Kate Osler (AEI/El Dorado), Jon Walsh (Shambala), Chris Rutherford (Boomtown Fair) and Gill Tee (Black Deer) to the board of directors at yesterday’s (11 November) AGM in London.

AIF, which now represents 90 festivals, also reported year-on-year membership growth of 34% and announced the return of its flagship Festival Congress at M Shed Museum in Bristol on 15 February 2022. The post-conference festival party will take place at Lost Horizon – an independent venue launched by the team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri La area.

The theme of this year’s AGM was ‘Resilience’ in recognition of the unprecedented challenges faced by the festival sector since the onset of the pandemic.

The fact that AIF has welcomed so many new members in recent months demonstrates the power of the collective

“When considering the last 18 months, resilience really is the word, and our sector should take great pride from the way it has adapted and survived during the pandemic,” says Reed. “AIF is pleased to have played its part in supporting independent festivals and fighting their corner.

“The fact that AIF has welcomed so many new members in recent months demonstrates the power of the collective and the need for community in difficult circumstances.”

Reaffirming its commitment to action on the climate emergency, the trade body revealed that it is supporting and funding an industry-wide green code of conduct that will be developed by Vision 2025. It also confirmed it will relaunch its Safer Spaces campaign and charter before the 2022 festival season to raise awareness around sexual harassment and violence, and promoting best practice at member events.

In addition, AIF announced a new, wide-ranging partnership with Music Support, which includes discounted Mental Health First Aid training for members and free access to Music Support’s recently launched Addiction And Recovery awareness training.

“The pandemic isn’t over, of course, but it’s good to be able to turn one eye to the future with some new faces on the board to drive us forward,” adds Reed. “There are plenty of other issues facing our industry that we have a duty to confront head on. Not least reaffirming our commitment to taking practical action on the climate emergency, as well as sexual violence and harassment at events.

“I’d also like to thank Music Support for their partnership in helping us strive for better mental health provisions for our members. It is more vital than ever given the turbulence of the last 18 months that they have access to the right support services.”


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