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General Secretary Writes | Association of Festival Organisers

Steve Heap, General Secretary of AFO and Chair of EIF shares his thoughts and experiences.

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General Secretary Writes - November 2021

General Secretary Writes - November 2021

23rd November 2021

Will we ever be the same again?  Covid, BREXIT, Insurance, it seems that the same subjects keep popping up over and over again.  However there has been some movement since I last wrote at the end of October, and I will come to my diary in a moment. Event Wi-Fi Wi-Fi and communications are something we have to think about when we are busily setting up our sites.  Only a few ye...

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General Secretary Writes – October 2021 Part 2

General Secretary Writes – October 2021 Part 2

22nd October 2021

General Secretary Writes – October 2021 Part 2 Since I last wrote with my diary entries up to 8 October there has been quite a lot going on, but we should open by sadly noting the passing of Paddy Maloney, the Chieftains founder member.  Paddy Maloney was piper, whistle player, manager of band.  Born in 1938 he grew up in Donnycarney in the northern part of county Dublin.  ...

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General Secretary Writes - October 2021

General Secretary Writes - October 2021

12th October 2021

I wrote to you last on 24 September and was planning to write again after two or three weeks but there is so much going on that the file is getting a bit bulky so here it is: Mobile Ordering Apps Technology is charging along at a rapid pace and apps that can be adapted to the festival and events industry are now commonplace.  For example, NOQ is built with events and venues in mind all...

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AFO General Secretary Writes - September 2021 Part 2

AFO General Secretary Writes - September 2021 Part 2

24th September 2021

Since I last wrote my diary back at the beginning of September, once again it has been a very busy time around the AFO office.  Here are a few snippets of information that has been gathered, along with my diary report. In response to Business Rates proposals - government recently asked LIVE some very specific questions as part of their consultation on work towards longer term support. ...

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General Secretary Writes - September 2021

General Secretary Writes - September 2021

10th September 2021

As I write the sun has come out again (perhaps to shine brightly on Bromyard).  Could be early signs of an Indian Summer or maybe just a warm spell to welcome the autumn.  Whatever, it is very welcome and for those late season festivals that are taking place over the next week to ten days, you could well be in for some gorgeous weather. With Towersey sadly having to be postponed and g...

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General Secretary Writes - August 2021 part 2

General Secretary Writes - August 2021 part 2

3rd September 2021

It’s the British thing to comment on the weather and I must say that I am a bit disappointed that our garden table has not been uncovered very often in the last few weeks.  I am looking forward to what my grandma used to call an Indian Summer and hoping we can have some warmer weather before autumn hits us for real.  For those of you running festivals, dealing with Covid issues ...

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General Secretary Writes - August 2021

General Secretary Writes - August 2021

16th August 2021

If I was to say it has been slightly quieter for a few days I hope I am not tempting fate. 29 July I visited the last day of As You Like It, a small boutique concert festival near Stratford upon Avon (sold out, very successful), and helped dismantle the event over the next day. 3 August Arts Council open zoom meeting reference long-term strategy.  I have written up some notes from the m...

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General Secretary Writes - 12 July onwards

General Secretary Writes - 12 July onwards

4th August 2021

Hello everyone I hope you have enjoyed the hot spell and if you were running an event during that you got lucky. As I write this the rain has returned, humidity is high but the prospects for the rest of the summer in terms of weather are reasonable.  There have of course been some heavy storms which have caused problems for festivals like Standon Calling, but in the main there have been...

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General Secretary Writes - 5 July onwards

General Secretary Writes - 5 July onwards

9th July 2021

Friends, This week I started by visiting Timber Festival in the National Forest, East Midlands. An absolutely unique event only reminiscent of the sadly lost Larmer Tree (where are they now ?). Well done Wild Rumpus (AFO members) on overcoming enormous hurdles to get the event on in a Covid safe way.  Test and trace were in place and as everyone approached wristband exchange you were...

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General Secretary Writes – 10 June onwards

General Secretary Writes – 10 June onwards

2nd July 2021

For those regular readers of GSW you might notice a slight change.  We are going to make these a weekly diary direct from me to you, so you are better informed as to what the AFO Office is doing on behalf of our industry.  If you need more detail of any of these points you will probably find it in AFO News on the website www.festivalorganisers.org/news and if it is not there then drop a ...

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General Secretary Writes - June 2021

General Secretary Writes - June 2021

10th June 2021

As always since I last wrote this blog there has been a lot of action; loads of meetings, discussions and even a few decisions. For a start here is a little bit of general news. General News Someone asked the other day why they had been sent a proforma invoice, so I dug out a bit of information as this is a common occurrence these days. What is a proforma invoice? It is a document that ...

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General Secretary Writes - May 2021

General Secretary Writes - May 2021

11th May 2021

WE HAVE BEEN IN THIS TUNNEL TOO LONG... Hello Members and Friends, I hope you are all safe and well and as my title this month suggests, it really is time we found a way out of this tunnel.  The light is definitely on, quite possibly getting brighter, and I can tell you that a lot of different organisations are working towards the same goal as us. DCMS Select Committee One of those ...

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General Secretary Writes - April 2021

General Secretary Writes - April 2021

8th April 2021

Hello members and friends.  I hope you are all safe and well. Since my last GSW toward the end of March there has, as always in this Covid world been a great deal of activity.  I’ll try to group things in some kind of order here and then towards the end, check my diary. First - Covid stuff This at the last DCMS/live festivals working group meeting this group of 37 delegates ...

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General Secretary Writes - March 2021 part 2

General Secretary Writes - March 2021 part 2

18th March 2021

Hello and I hope you are all safe and well and looking forward to whatever we can salvage out of the 2021 season.  I know that some have already cancelled, others have moved dates into the latter part of the season and for some ticket sales are very good.  There’s quite a variety out there.  I wish you all good luck in whichever you choose to do, and I will give you as much in...

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General Secretary Writes -  March 2021

General Secretary Writes - March 2021

2nd March 2021

Hello Members and Friends I hope you are all keeping safe and well and no doubt excited about the light at the end of the tunnel.  Just how bright is it shining at the moment (1 March) is debatable, but it is there, and I really don’t think it is going to go out.  There is a determination not only throughout the country but certainly in our industry to get moving again. We ma...

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General Secretary Writes -  28 January 2021

General Secretary Writes - 28 January 2021

28th January 2021

January 2021 part 2 In my last blog to AFO on 12 January I thought I would be leaving it about a month before writing again.  However, things are changing daily so I thought I would come to you a little early  With now only three weeks to go to AFO Conference Saturday 20 February 2021, I strongly recommend that you get onto the AFO website at festivalorganisers.org and book now....

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General Secretary Writes - 12 January 2021

General Secretary Writes - 12 January 2021

12th January 2021

12/1/21 (a palindromic day) Hello all and a very Happy New Year.  From here on we have just got to believe that things can get better (it couldn’t be much worse).  Although 2021 started with good news and bad news vis-à-vis Covid, vaccinations, sad loss of life etc. etc., we do have a chance that by the end of this year we could well be back to as near normal as reasonabl...

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General Secretary Writes - 15 December 2020

General Secretary Writes - 15 December 2020

15th December 2020

Every time I write a piece of news, have a phone conversation, or drop a couple of emails to bring people up to date in this Covid world we are now in, the news changes within just a few hours. This is true since I last wrote a General Secretary blog back in the middle of November. So much is happening so quickly that it is hard to keep up to date, but I will try. 16 November We held a Key Advi...

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General Secretary Writes - November 2020

General Secretary Writes - November 2020

13th November 2020

....and so the pandemic goes on! Who would have thought back in March that this beast would survive ‘til Christmas and beyond? Who would have though virtually the whole 2020 festival season would be postponed? Who would have thought our Festival industry would be so creative as to lead the way in getting festivals and events moving again? We are still amongst the few that have actuall...

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General Secretary Writes - October 2020

General Secretary Writes - October 2020

21st October 2020

Hello all. This one is a bit long so a coffee and a comfy chair may be needed. I thought it was time to pull together all the political and government departmental stuff that has been going on over the last few weeks.  The order may be a bit random but worth a read.  Here we go… Read the full blog here...

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