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Sprinkle Pixie Dust

You might well book big stars, support acts and unknown names for your festivals in 2011 but to really give that festival feel that makes the difference you need what we call ‘Pixie Dust’.  There is no better place to find this than at ISAN - The Independent Street Arts Network.

ISAN have just launched their new improved outdoor arts website, a great place for spotting new talent, ways of doing it and some good links.

Bringing in an Overseas Act

Many of you will be familiar with the UK Border Agency, run out of the Home Office. Many different rules have been put in place over the last few years regarding the booking and importing of Artists from overseas to your festival. The Arts and Entertainment Taskforce, as part of UK Border Agency, is made up of a group of people from the arts world to discuss the current legislation and any changes that they might like to recommend.

Arthur Turner-Thomas of Tenby

Many musicians and others will remember Tenby Festival, the one where you didn’t get paid.  News is that he is still out there and still talking about running events.  To the best of our knowledge he still owes a considerable amount of money to a variety of people.  Beware any approach from Arthur Turner-Thomas regarding festival and concert events in and around Tenby.

Our friends in Wales are keeping us up to date.

Ralph McTell Honoured

The event took place in the Members Dining Hall at the Houses of Parliament and was recorded by BBC Radio 2.  The celebration was opened by Controller of Radio 2 Bob Shennan and introduced by Mike Harding, who gave an excellent potted history of Ralph’s career and then read a piece of prose that he had written for the occasion, most appropriate.  Ralph sang songs and of course finished with Streets of London, which was well received by the gathering of MPs, Lords, friends and family.

Working in Partnership - UK Border Agency

Message from Lin Homer, Chief Executive, UK Border Agency

'On 1 April the UK Border Agency became a full agency of the Home Office. This means that we have put in place a Framework Agreement with the Home Office to define the relationship more formally. We will now produce our own annual report and accounts and I have become the Agency's Accounting Officer.
We also published our new three year business plan. Last year we made good progress against our publicised targets and milestones and we have:

Agent? Manager? Promoter? Or Maybe All Three.

PA member festival has recently written to us about a difficulty they had at their festival in the spring where the agent for the headline act also turned out to be a promoter who was intending to actually promote the band into more gigs around the same period.

It presented a conflict of interest, caused serious difficulties for the festival and has become a lesson hard learnt.  The warning is, make sure all the arrangements that are made by phone, email and final contract are actually spelt out in detail, in writing and agreed by all

Handheld Radio Change

Many festival members of Association of Festival Organisers will hire, from a variety of companies, handheld radios for communications around venues and sites.
We are informed by Ofcom that they are simplifying the way that radio systems are licensed and changing their systems to support the radio licensing activity.