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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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Describe your AFO in one sentence

Describe your AFO in one sentence

27th March 2019

FOR 2019 SEASON   You should by now be well into the planning of your festivals and events.  I hope ticket sales are going well and apart from a quick flurry of snow just a few days ago, spring seems to be heading our way, summer not far behind.  Good Luck with yours! And finally, here is a challenge.  Would you help us with our publicity and marketing by describing yo...

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Attended the Open-Air Business (Glamping) Conference

Attended the Open-Air Business (Glamping) Conference

25th March 2019

I attended the Open-Air Business (Glamping) Conference on behalf of AFO in Leicestershire.  Organised by the magazine Open Air Business, some of you will have seen at last year’s Conference, definitely a booming industry and if glamping isn’t part of your festival already, then it really should be.  It is demanded by potential customers and a money spinner...

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Meeting potential sponsors for AFO conference

Meeting potential sponsors for AFO conference

18th March 2019

I was in in the south of England talking to one or two potential sponsors for AFO Conference and moved on to a whole day of studying waste and recycling in Swindon and Devizes.  I will report accordingly and hopefully be recommending good companies to look after yours in a green 21st century way....

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Run Your Own Music Festival

Run Your Own Music Festival

6th March 2019

Run Your Own Music Festival Oxjam is the UK's largest grassroots music festival - and now you have the chance to run one of their events as they seek out this year's Festival Managers. Oxjam is a community festival run by you, for you. It’s m...

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Attention SE Members - Do you write, programme or perform Folk, Traditional, World and Roots music?

Attention SE Members - Do you write, programme or perform Folk, Traditional, World and Roots music?

6th March 2019

Book an informal session with the Arts Council and find out if we can offer any support.    The ACE South East Music Team is holding a day of 1-2-1 funding advice surgeries on Wednesday 3 April 2019 aimed at artists and organisations in the Folk, Traditional, World and Roots sectors in the South East (Please note, our area does not cover London-based applicants). The 1...

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New process for artists and sportspeople entering from Ireland

New process for artists and sportspeople entering from Ireland

6th March 2019

After many months of work since the summer the Government has now unveiled its new process for artists and musicians entering through Ireland. Thank you to Paul Fenn for all his hard work on this issue in particular.   The Government’s press release is available here:- https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-process-for-artists-and-sportspeople-entering-from-ireland &n...

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International AGF Award Winners

International AGF Award Winners

6th March 2019

Festivals from eight countries across three continents were last night crowned winners at the debut International AGF Awards, organised by A Greener Festival.   The ceremony took place at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington High St, London, as part of the Green Events & Innovations Conference and on the opening night of ILMC 31, and was supported by RES and Vid...

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Epic Award for England Awarded goes to Huddersfield-Based  Grand Northern Ukulele Festival

Epic Award for England Awarded goes to Huddersfield-Based Grand Northern Ukulele Festival

6th March 2019

    Grand Ukulele Festival Northern is winning awards!   Congratulations to the team for putting together the Grand Ukulele Festival Northern which takes place in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire in May. The festival recently won the Epic Award (see press release) and the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (which is like an MBE for voluntary groups). &nbs...

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Students need you and you need them!

Students need you and you need them!

5th March 2019

I was recently at Derby University, Buxton Campus, talking with a wide range of students on the Events Management Course. From 1st to 3rd years they all want hands-on experience. If you can find a useful job (not car parking, toilet cleaning or ticket checking), that you could offer to a student either paid or unpaid, then we need to hear from you. There’s plenty of them all keen ...

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Our new website

Our new website

27th February 2019

A long telephone meeting with Jon Sloper, designer of the new AFO website.  If you haven’t looked at it in detail you are looking at some of it right now and you should search the rest where you will pick up lots of information and opportunities to market your own festivals and events. And that brought an extremely busy February to an end. As March opened I had a meeting...

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Plans for a training day later in this season are coming together

Plans for a training day later in this season are coming together

26th February 2019

Attended the Production Show at Olympia where I get a view of new products, companies wanting to sell into our industry and will produce a separate newsletter with information. Throughout January and February I had several calls from students as mentioned above and a variety of questions from members including insurance, PRS, how to start a festival, BREXIT, Conference and sponsorship.  We...

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A round table discussion on Festivals in the 21st Century

A round table discussion on Festivals in the 21st Century

21st February 2019

Attended the Event Buyers Live (organised by Standout Magazine) where event organisers meet one-to-one with a variety of suppliers.  I ran a round table discussion on Festivals in the 21st Century....

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Students Open Day at Derby University

Students Open Day at Derby University

20th February 2019

Attended Derby University, Buxton Campus Students Open Day where I do a presentation about the AFO and how we link into the Management Courses there....

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Ron Rudd

Ron Rudd

18th February 2019

Attended Ron Rudd’s funeral.  Ron and his family have been stewarding at festivals throughout the UK for many years.  Sadly Ron has just died but leaves behind a tremendous legacy and a family who continue to volunteer at events....

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Conference potential venue visit

Conference potential venue visit

13th February 2019

Visited Walking Arts Centre in search of a new Conference venue.  Have also been in touch with several other arts centres after the idea came from Sarah Bird at Wild Rumpus. Venue yet to be settled but date of Conference to put in your diaries is 8, 9 and 10 November 2019....

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AFO A-Z presentation for second and third year students

AFO A-Z presentation for second and third year students

12th February 2019

Attended Oxford Brooke University to present an AFO A-Z for second and third year students on the Management Course....

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Beginners Guide A-Z of Festival Management for the Broads Management Trust

Beginners Guide A-Z of Festival Management for the Broads Management Trust

7th February 2019

Presented an AFO Beginners Guide A-Z of Festival Management for the Broads Management Trust in Norwich.  These people look after the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads and are planning on running events.  Some of the people attending had some small experiences, but I am reliably informed that the whole workshop was very useful....

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Interview with students for dissertations

Interview with students for dissertations

6th February 2019

Telephone interview with a student asking all the right questions in order to assist their dissertation. This is something I do quite often and it is good to know that students can talk to us more senior festival organisers to improve their education....

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Attended the Show Must Go On and Powerful Thinking support group meeting

Attended the Show Must Go On and Powerful Thinking support group meeting

31st January 2019

Attended the Show Must Go On and Powerful Thinking support group meeting in London.  Very useful gathering where thoughts of how we might continue to spread the word of sustainability in the festival and events industry for the next twelve months.  The Show Must Go On - Volume 2 will probably be publishes later this year. Later in the evening attended the Festival Suppliers Awards din...

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Drones over your festival crowd!

Drones over your festival crowd!

29th January 2019

Crowded Space Drones is a specialist drone company who provide Counter Terrorism & Public Safety solutions with drones.  They work with several major sports clubs including Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC and Dallas Cowboys and with events for the BBC, Live Nation, Festival Republic, Cream, MTV, AEG, Local Authorities and much more. They were contracted to UK Counter Terrorism Polic...

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