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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 info@festivalorganisers.org and do add us to your press list.

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General Secretary Writes - The last few weeks

General Secretary Writes - The last few weeks

17th July 2020

There has been a great deal going on since I last summarised the work we do on your behalf and I would like to bring you up to speed.  Some of this is included in emails sent out to members and other parts you will find in detail in the NEWS section on the AFO website https://www.festivalorganisers.org/news I can tell you that on 6 July I represented AFO in the EIF Board meeting to look...

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Steve Heap's Interview On Sustainability

Steve Heap's Interview On Sustainability

15th July 2020

How has Covid-19 affected sustainability at events in your view? With the devastating effect of COVID-19 destroying the 2020 festival season it does give organisers an opportunity to reflect on how they will recover in 2021, and at the same time re-think our sustainability policies.  ‘The world will never be the same again’ is a phrase I hear often describing this crisis, ...

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Facts, figures, and information needed for DCMS

Facts, figures, and information needed for DCMS

9th July 2020

AFO has been given a strong indication from DCMS that government are very interested in supporting the festival sector.  To provide the facts, figures, and information they need, we need you, the festival organisers to move VERY QUICKLY. We have teamed up with AIF to jointly pull together this information for the benefit of festivals of all types. The information requested here is ...

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£1.57B of Investment to Protect Britain’s World Class Culture Arts and Heritage Institutions

£1.57B of Investment to Protect Britain’s World Class Culture Arts and Heritage Institutions

8th July 2020

"£1.57B of Investment to Protect Britain’s World Class Culture Arts and Heritage Institutions" That was the heading on the government's press release of 5 July.  Here at AFO we were delighted. However, on closer inspection they tell us that a good proportion of this package will be in the form of loans with about £880M being handed out in grants. For m...

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House of Commons Debate

House of Commons Debate

6th July 2020

The Question on the Order Paper was ‘Would the House Consider the E Petitions for Support for the Events Industry’?  Teresa Villiers MP (see on BBC iPlayer). On 30 June and 1 July at last festivals are mentioned in the House of Commons.  A Tory MP believed that the West End theatres in London should open as soon as possible.  The Prime Minister supported his idea, ...

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General Secretary Writes - Life during lockdown

General Secretary Writes - Life during lockdown

4th July 2020

Hello Members and others, I hope this finds you safe and well. Since I last wrote my diary it has been a very busy period, even though locked up in the house and garden.  As I write I believe we could be entering week fifteen here. 18 May - I spoke via Zoom link to students of Event Management at Derby University. 19 May - Chaired our first EIF online meeting (go to meetings) where w...

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The Government has today introduced its new Planning and Business Bill

The Government has today introduced its new Planning and Business Bill

25th June 2020

The Government has today introduced its new Planning and Business Bill as part of its plan to help support high street businesses. The bill, which only applies to England, will relax licencing laws and enable businesses to provide more outdoor seating and services. At the same time, the Government is introducing changes which will remove the need for planning applications for outdoor ...

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DCMS Covid-19 Survey Results

DCMS Covid-19 Survey Results

25th June 2020

In a survey carried out through the middle of the COVID-19 crisis DCMS had 3,936 responses between mid-April and mid-May. In order to narrow down the groupings festivals and events went into a section known as Events and Exhibitions, the results of which are revealing and useful. Question 1 asked whether in the next three months your organisation was financially resilient. 357 said yes, it ...

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Steve Brine Requests The PM to Speak To DCMS This Summer

Steve Brine Requests The PM to Speak To DCMS This Summer

23rd June 2020

Great to see that Steve Brine MP requested that the PM speak to the DCMS this summer. The AFO immediately contacted Steve and is now sending over statistics/information that will help him convince the treasury that finance support is needed for our sector.   We will keep you updated!     ...

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Can we say cheers to plant-based plastic yet?

Can we say cheers to plant-based plastic yet?

21st June 2020

The sustainability of our environment has not gone away during the COVID crisis.  Make sure you add sustainability on to your task list and budget for 2021. In the meantime take a look at this great article - Livvy Drake (Sustainable Sidekicks) guest blog on Vision:2025 discusses whether "We can say cheers to plant-based plastic yet?" Waste and plastics are one of Livvy’...

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Let's re-think our sustainability policies for 2021

Let's re-think our sustainability policies for 2021

18th June 2020

With the devastating effect of COVID-19 destroying the 2020 festival season it does give organisers an opportunity to reflect on how they will recover in 2021.  More on that in another place. However, it also gives us all the opportunity to re-think our sustainability policies.  ‘The world will never be the same again’ is a phrase often used, well it has been like that for so...

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The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, consumer contracts, cancellation & refunds

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, consumer contracts, cancellation & refunds

14th June 2020

There are a wide range of contracts that have been affected due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The following sets out the CMA’s general views about how the law operates in this area, to help consumers understand their rights and to help businesses treat their customers fairly. Read more HERE...

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Why Cancelled Festivals Will Take Their Toll On Local Businesses

Why Cancelled Festivals Will Take Their Toll On Local Businesses

9th June 2020

Steve Heap, General Secretary of the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), says the impact of cancelled festivals will be strongly felt by local businesses in a recent article published in Access All Areas The 2020 festival season has been wiped out. At the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), 90 of our member festivals postponed to 2021, while 17 changed their 2020 date in the hope th...

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Insurance Guidance For Business Interuption Policies

Insurance Guidance For Business Interuption Policies

8th June 2020

INSURANCE GUIDANCE in case you are chatting to your provider. Draft Guidance for Insurance Companies - As part of its investigation into Coronavirus related business interruption insurance, the FCA have published draft guidance on their expectations for insurers and insurance intermediaries when handling claims and complaints for business interruption policies during the test case. The guidance...

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Big Difference Company seeks new CEO for the Leicester Comedy Festival

Big Difference Company seeks new CEO for the Leicester Comedy Festival

5th June 2020

BIG DIFFERENCE COMPANY seeks new CEO, for the Leicester Comedy Festival and more. This could be a new role and direction for a festival organiser (and this is not a joke ) Chief Executive - Big Difference Company Location: Leicester Salary: c£40,000 per annum Closing date: 5pm Friday 3 July 2020   The UK’s Official Comedy Party - celebrating comedy since 1994   Big ...

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Market Traders Survey From NMTF

Market Traders Survey From NMTF

5th June 2020

20% of the traders registered with NMTF trade at festivals and events. In a recent survey conducted by NMTF with regard to the effect of COVID-19 and its impact on the market traders, it was revealed that approximately 9000 market traders carry out business at festivals and events in the UK.  There are 32,000 market and street traders known to be operating in the UK. AFO is a little dis...

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Melvin Benn, Festival Republic shows the way to get the festival industry moving again

Melvin Benn, Festival Republic shows the way to get the festival industry moving again

4th June 2020

Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic, has called for the increase of COVID-19 testing in the UK because entertainment and sport cannot operate fully with social distancing measures in place. Melvin Benn has published The Full Capacity Plan, which details an incentive-based scheme that he says would “rapidly increase” the public’s use of the NHS Trace App. He wan...

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82% of Festival goers ready to return to live events

82% of Festival goers ready to return to live events

27th May 2020

A recent survey carried out by music festival marketplace Festicket has shown that the demand for live events post-coronavirus is high, with over 80% of 110,000 festivalgoers surveyed saying they would attend an event within six months of lockdown being lifted. A third of respondents, which include music fans in the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, say they would feel confident to atten...

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General Secretary Writes - Banging the AFO drum, with UK Live Music Group (the good guys), MU, DCMS, EIF, AIF and countless others

General Secretary Writes - Banging the AFO drum, with UK Live Music Group (the good guys), MU, DCMS, EIF, AIF and countless others

18th May 2020

Tell me, why did I get up at 5:30am to drive to the station for an early train that would get me to a meeting in London for 11am?  I usually did 3 meetings and caught a train back to be home in time for the 10 o’clock news (PM). Then there was a virus pandemic, all meetings cancelled.  Enter stage left ZOOM!  A meeting before lunch and a dog walk as well.  With a good ...

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The Traditional Music Forum launches Scotland Online

The Traditional Music Forum launches Scotland Online

14th May 2020

The Traditional Music Forum are pleased to launch Scotland Online - a new website with listings of livestream events featuring Scotland’s thriving traditional arts: https://scotlandonline.org...

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