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Largest edition of IFF to open doors in 3 weeks

The line-up for the International Festival Forum at South London's Omeara from 26-28 September is almost complete

By James Hanley on 06 Sep 2023

Sam Ryder performing at IFF 2021

Sam Ryder at IFF 2021

More than 1,000 music festival professionals and booking agents are expected to attend this month’s International Festival Forum (IFF), which is presented in association with TicketSwap.

Just 100 tickets are left for the invitation-only gathering, which will take place at a new campus location at Omeara in South London from 26-28 September.

IFF mixes conference debate, lunches, dinners and private agency pop up offices with a schedule of live showcases. Networking events this year include The IFF Opening Party, hosted by CAA & Rock Werchter, at Flat Iron Square on Tuesday 26 Sept., while WME hosts its annual Happy Hour the following day, and the Wasserman Music Drinks take place on Thursday 28 Sept.

The third round of agency partner showcases was announced this week. One Fiinix Live closes the daytime live programme on 27 September with performances from Blair Davie and KAWALA. Then, on 28 Sept., Primary Talent International will present Antony Szmierek, Cathy Jain, Lost Romantic and SIPHO, with ATC Live later presenting Divorce, English Teacher, O and The Silhouettes Project.

Music from Ireland, Music Finland and The Spanish Wave will present five of the fastest-rising artists from their respective markets

This year’s International Showcase is hosted by Music from Ireland (Gurriers, Enola Gay & Lucy McWilliams), Music Finland (Joalin) and The Spanish Wave (Maika Makovski). Meanwhile, Music Venue Trust showcases four emerging artists on a unique ‘United by Music’ night on Thurs 28 Sept.

IFF’s debate schedule is now complete and will launch with ‘The Festival Season 2023’ at 10am on Wednesday 27 Sept., featuring panellists Christof Huber (Yourope), Pavla Slivova (Colours of Ostrava), Alex Bruford (ATC Live), Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio) and Almudena Heredero (Primavera Sound).

‘The Audience Session’, which will follow from 11.30am, will see Sarah Slater (Ticketmaster), David Mogendoorf (TikTok), Niek Murray (Pinkpop) and Sophie Roberts (UTA) offer insights on how festivals and artists are keeping up with a changing audience, and engaging fans both at the event and beyond.

In addition, WME agent Andy Duggan will host ‘Headliners: The Winner takes it All?’ from 10am on 28 September, which will delve into the issues around crafting the perfect festival bill. CAA chiefs Emma Banks and Mike Greek will then jointly deliver The IFF Keynote at 11.30am.

As well as 13 core booking agency partners, key supporters for this year’s event include Ticketmaster as platinum partner; FKP Scorpio, DEAG, Tysers, Intent and TVG Hospitality as associate partners; and The Jockey Club Venues as conference host.

Previous editions of IFF have seen early-stage performances from the likes of Lewis Capaldi, Tom Grennan, Yonaka, Bob Vylan, Sam Ryder, Slaves, Raye, Black Midi, Loyle Carner, Dermot Kennedy and Shame.


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