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Latest News

Here are the latest news stories from the festival and event industry. Please also follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Have a news story to tell? Send it to [email protected] and do add us to your press list.

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MP’s Question Ministers in the House. When can we get back to work??

MP’s Question Ministers in the House. When can we get back to work??

11th December 2020

Tracy Brabin MP (Shadow Minister for Cultural Industries): Research from the creative industries policy and evidence centre has shown there has been 55,000 job losses in music, performing, and visual arts in the last six months. Our creative workers are desperate to get back, but to do so they need a safety net – Germany has just announced an indemnity fund, ind...

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Events Industry Forum (EIF) Update

Events Industry Forum (EIF) Update

10th December 2020

AFO members will be aware that our Gen. Sec. was prominent in the formation of Events Industry Forum (EIF). As publishers of the Purple Guide funds raised are often awarded as grants to projects that will benefit the outdoor events industry. However, this year the directors decided to engage a parliamentary lobbyist to keep our industries work up there. During the Covid-19 crisis Bingham and Bingh...

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Guidance On VAT Reduction, Extension And Yes, It Does Cover Festivals.

Guidance On VAT Reduction, Extension And Yes, It Does Cover Festivals.

8th December 2020

For attractions (read festivals), then sell tickets now The following update is guidance on VAT reduction, extension and yes, it does cover festivals. The guidance on reduced VAT for hospitality, holiday accommodation and attractions has been updated to reflect the extension in VAT reduction to 5% until 31 March 2021 for certain supplies relating to hospitality, hotel and holiday accommodati...

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The Question On All Our Lips Is 'Will The Vaccine Save Most Of Our Season?

The Question On All Our Lips Is 'Will The Vaccine Save Most Of Our Season?

6th December 2020

That's All Sorted Then? (Maybe) As many of us are now well into planning our 2021 festivals the questions on all our lips are 'will the vaccine save most of our season?'  'Will we be able to run normally, or is it Covid-19 in ’21? We will of course keep you up to date with everything we learn from the dozens of government zoom meeting that we are tied up with. J...

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Booking Overseas Artists

Booking Overseas Artists

5th December 2020

Members please note that from 1 January 2021 the UK is no longer a member of EU (transition finished). If you are planning to recruit or book artists from overseas from 1 January 2021 you will need to register as a Licenced Visa Sponsor. You may not be able to legally hire people from outside the UK if you do not have a licence.  New employees from outside the UK will also need to meet ...

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Quarantine Rules For Professional Performing Artists

Quarantine Rules For Professional Performing Artists

4th December 2020

The DCMS Secretary of State has confirmed that from 5th December an exemption from quarantine rules for professional performing artists travelling to the UK and for those returning from activity overseas (who have upcoming work commitments) will be coming into force. Legislation relating to this will be being laid today and will come into force from 4am on Saturday.  ...

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Now at last, a light at the end of this COVID tunnel. Where were we?

Now at last, a light at the end of this COVID tunnel. Where were we?

3rd December 2020

I know it’s too early to get excited but you have to admit after 8 months of worrying whether our festivals will ever see the light of day again the possible prospect of the early season festivals being able to run perhaps in a limited covid safe way and the mid season and later ones getting back to near normal does begin to look promising. So whilst you ponder that bold ,and perhaps cauciou...

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DCMS launch an inquiry into the Future of UK Music Festivals

DCMS launch an inquiry into the Future of UK Music Festivals

27th November 2020

Today, 11 November, DCMS have launched an inquiry through its select committee. They are looking into “the future of UK Music Festivals”. They would like written evidence by 9 December! AFO members are welcome to send evidence direct to DCMS and copy in the AFO office. OR send just to AFO and we will collate all responses into one report. We have been lobbying a...

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APPG for Events  (All Party Parliamentary Group)

APPG for Events (All Party Parliamentary Group)

26th November 2020

After some considerable time colleagues at EIF have now got this valuable support group up and running again. The date for the first meeting of the APPG for Events is now scheduled for Tuesday  8th December. The first meeting is to activate the group. There are 30MPs who have signed up for the group. And there will soon be further meetings to brief the Chair on the events sector....

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Music By Numbers 2020 by UK Music

Music By Numbers 2020 by UK Music

25th November 2020

Music By Numbers is the flagship annual economic study by UK Music and its members that shows the UK music industry continued to grow in 2019 across every sector before the Covid-enforced shutdown hit in early 2020. The report measures the health of the music business by collating data about its contribution in goods and services to the economy. That economic contribution is known as Gross Valu...

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Indoor And Outdoor Events With Audiences Given Green Light From 2nd December

Indoor And Outdoor Events With Audiences Given Green Light From 2nd December

23rd November 2020

The Government has issued its Winter Plan, which states that outdoor events such as concerts and sports will be able to accommodate audiences of up to 4,000 in Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas when the UK emerges from national lockdown on 2 December. It said in Tiers 1 and 2, live events can now resume inside and outside with capacity limits and social distancing in place. In Tier 1 the capacity limit w...

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Theresa Villiers MP To Chair New All Party Parliamentary Group For Events

Theresa Villiers MP To Chair New All Party Parliamentary Group For Events

23rd November 2020

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Events (APPG) has now been re-established as an official APPG in Parliament following the appointment of a new chair and vice chair. The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, Member of Parliament for Chipping Barnet, will be the new Chair of the APPG. Villiers takes over from James Heappey MP, who was Chair for four years, until his appointment as Minister for the Ar...

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Government Guidance - Principles Of Safer Singing

Government Guidance - Principles Of Safer Singing

23rd November 2020

Government officials have always tried hard to be clear. Ministers will often be heard saying "let me be very clear". So if you fancy a sing here is the clear guidance. o Singing takes place only in larger well-ventilated spaces, or outdoors. o Performance or rehearsal is for limited periods of time at a reduced level of loudness, using microphones for amplification if available. o ...

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Julie’s Bicycle hosts the next webinar in the Vision: 2025 #WeMakeTheFuture Autumn series

Julie’s Bicycle hosts the next webinar in the Vision: 2025 #WeMakeTheFuture Autumn series

21st November 2020

Join Chiara Badiali from Julie’s Bicycle as she explains the what, how and why of the circular economy with plenty of stories from the creative community, with guests Patricia Yagüe, Head of Sustainability, Live Nation Europe speaking about some of the projects her teams around Europe are working on to close different material loops and Paul Schurink f...

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VisitEngland consumer sentiment tracker wave 19

VisitEngland consumer sentiment tracker wave 19

20th November 2020

Field work for the latest consumer sentiment tracker was conducted last week 9-13 November, in this we can see the negative force of England’s lockdown, but also the positive news around the prospect of effective vaccines being available in the near future. Some key points include: People’s moods have received a lift – there is a very significant decline in the proportio...

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Business Rate On Festival and Event Sites - Action needed

Business Rate On Festival and Event Sites - Action needed

18th November 2020

Some festivals especially green field sites will in recent years have had notification of a charge for business rates either from the landowner or direct from the local authority. A revaluation exercise is now underway and will result in a Revaluation of all business premises , including festival sites on 1st March 2023. The key valuation date for this review is however 1st April 2021.&nbs...

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Recover And Reopen Covid 19 Event Safety Planning Free Webinar

Recover And Reopen Covid 19 Event Safety Planning Free Webinar

16th November 2020

We are presenting a series of webinars and safety support for AFO Members to manage COVID 19 safe festivals, with event safety specialists, Symphotech, to run December 12th, January 9th and at our member's conference on February 20th. Specifically, the legislative area will be England. Producing our festivals will be complicated in 2021. These free to attend Recover & Reopen webinars ai...

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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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Event Production Show Moves Date and Venue to Support Industry

Event Production Show Moves Date and Venue to Support Industry

13th November 2020

The UK’s leading live event industry exhibition, the Event Production Show (EPS), has announced its decision to secure new dates for 2021 and a new venue that will allow it to take place before next year’s outdoor event and festival season in a COVID safe environment. EPS will now be hosted at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre as part of a partnership wi...

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Additional Restrictions Grant

Additional Restrictions Grant

9th November 2020

There are grants and support packages coming out of our ears these days. Along with several other organisations, AFO has been lobbying HM Gov. for funds in all quarters, some we have been successful others not so. This one MAY be of use to some of our AFO members. Read more here...

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