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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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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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Digital Green Passport

Digital Green Passport

18th March 2021

We left …now they have got one!!! Digital Green Passport the European Commission has launched a proposal for a Regulation on the Digital Green Certificate to facilitate safe free movement inside the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Digital Green Certificate will be a proof that a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19. ...

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Pilot Updates from DCMS

Pilot Updates from DCMS

18th March 2021

What? No’ live’ pilot!!!! Pilot Updates from DCMS ‘We have so far only announced that the F.A cup final at Wembley stadium on May 15, and the world snooker championships at the Crucible theatre in Sheffield, which conclude on May 3, will be pilot events. The pilots will not be just sporting events and we have supplemented these via our partnership with Liverpool City Council ...

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More news on applying for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

More news on applying for the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG)

17th March 2021

You might qualify – you need to ask your local authority NOW 66 Councils who have given out Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) to those without Business Premises (it was 17, then 34, then 42, not it’s 66 and rising) Some of those councils’ grants may have closed but are still good examples to quote to other councils, of what they did.  Others may still be open to appl...

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Facts And Figures Needed To Fight Our Corner

Facts And Figures Needed To Fight Our Corner

11th March 2021

"Oh no!  Not more questions" said the AFO Member. "I totally agree" said the General Secretary. I am asked questions every day by DCMS, ACE, PR Companies, The Press and Researchers. Please would you help me "keep the pot boiling" by giving me some figures, thoughts and ideas. We have climbed a mountain of ignorance and bureaucracy and turned it into a...

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Festivals & Events: Interpreting the Roadmap

Festivals & Events: Interpreting the Roadmap

10th March 2021

As part of Symphotech’s Recover & Reopen programme, Eddy Grant, Director of Safety & Professor of Professional Practice at University of Cumbria, interprets the implications of the government’s roadmap for reopening the festivals & events sector. Recorded 8th March 2021. AFO Members can view this presentation and download the worksheets via our resource section: https...

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ARG Grant Has Been Updated To  Include Events Businesses That Are Not Eligible For Other Grants

ARG Grant Has Been Updated To Include Events Businesses That Are Not Eligible For Other Grants

10th March 2021

Another chance for a bit of support ARG Update The guidance on the ARG grant has been updated to specifically include tourism and events businesses that are not eligible for other grants. Local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for these grants. However, we expect the funding to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are none...

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Passport or no passport?

Passport or no passport?

9th March 2021

Boris Johnson confirmed that the government are looking at ways that a vaccine certificate may work and that consideration will be given to those who are under 16 or cannot have a vaccine, for instance due to medical circumstances. ROBERT JENRICK  says you can He has written to local authorities outlining that in step 2 of the Government’s roadmap (no earlier than 12 April) hospit...

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International Womens Day - What Four Talented Women Members Have To Say

International Womens Day - What Four Talented Women Members Have To Say

8th March 2021

Whilst celebrating #IWD2021 today, take a look at what four talented women members of the AFO have to say:   MEET THE MEMBERS Angela Schofield Angela Schofield – Director, Harmony Voyages Spending many years developing my career in the retail fashion industry feeling ‘safe’ as a woman in the workplace, somewhere that my opinion mattered and bei...

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UK MUSIC CEO reports in his weekly blog a similar feeling to that of AFO Gen. Sec.

UK MUSIC CEO reports in his weekly blog a similar feeling to that of AFO Gen. Sec.

8th March 2021

UK MUSIC CEO reports in his weekly blog a similar feeling to that of AFO Gen. Sec. The euphoria of the news after the budget that suggested festivals could just restart was of course exciting but the devil in the detail is now being revealed. In his blog (8/3/21) Jamie says…. Last week’s Budget was a mixed bag for the music industry. Having finally secured a timeline for comi...

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International Womens Day - AFO Womens Meeting

International Womens Day - AFO Womens Meeting

8th March 2021

AFO WOMENS ZOOM MEETING 6:30 PM TODAY   INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY is today 8th March 2021.   One could say “why do we still need a special day to celebrate the work and lives of women?”   The answer is, sadly, quite simple - the male of the species still dominate the world, the country, the county, the town and often the family....

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EIF Statement On Insurance, Supplier Concerns and EIF Guidance Update

EIF Statement On Insurance, Supplier Concerns and EIF Guidance Update

6th March 2021

AFO currently holds the chair of EIF. The forum have today put out the following statement Insurance: Conversations are continuing with the Government over the need for them to underwrite insurance if events are to go ahead this summer. While we had hoped to hear something by now, the view is that this is very much on the table still. Supplier Concerns: Despite repeatedly urging the ...

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COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 (Summary)

COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 (Summary)

5th March 2021

On 22 February the Prime Minister announced the roadmap.  Most of you will be familiar with how it works - these are the summary pages drawn out in simple text, pictures, and explanatory notes.  READ SUMMARY HERE...

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AFO Response To The Spring Budget 2021

AFO Response To The Spring Budget 2021

3rd March 2021

The chancellor appears to have heard our cry, in part.  We of course welcome the holding of 5% VAT on ticket sales to 30 September 2021 (assuming Festivals are included in Hospitality and Tourism).  We would have preferred the level to go on for three seasons but 5% now until 30 September 2021 and moving to 12.5% until April 2022 gives us a chance to sell 2022 tickets at the lower rate.&...

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Sustainability - You Think Covid Is Bad!

Sustainability - You Think Covid Is Bad!

2nd March 2021

Sustainability - You Think Covid Is Bad! You think Covid-19 was bad, well wait and see what happens when climate change really kicks in. You might think that will be tomorrow or even next year, but watch the ice melting, watch the floods, the sea level rise, the plastic waste, the birds leaving UK later and coming back early.  Look at the spring flowers turning up earlier than usual, th...

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Support Your (Local) Mobile Caterer

Support Your (Local) Mobile Caterer

2nd March 2021

If you are planning on staging a festival be it normal, Covid-safe or completely different, do what you can to support your mobile caterer, and if possible, make it one local to you. In a recent survey conducted by NCASS (Caterers Association) 46.55% of those responding usually get the bulk of their turnover each year from events and festivals.  Clearly, this didn’t happen in 2020. ...

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Thinking Of Running Your Festival - Then Read This!

Thinking Of Running Your Festival - Then Read This!

2nd March 2021

Just to help cut speculation and to assist in clarity, if you are wondering what to do, thinking of running your festival or tickets have already gone on sale I strongly recommend you read this detail first. In particular Section 3 and 4. If this does not answer your questions or give you the guidance you need, drop a line to [email protected] and we will try and Answer your ...

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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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HM treasury recognise the cultural Industries

HM treasury recognise the cultural Industries

2nd March 2021

  Stakeholder reaction responding to news that the Chancellor will announce nearly £410m extra money for arts, culture and heritage industries. This includes a £300m boost for the Culture Recovery Fund, an extra £90m to support our National Museums and cultural bodies to bridge the months ahead, and nearly £20m for culture projects in regio...

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AFO Conference February 2021 - An amazing platform for an amazing day.

AFO Conference February 2021 - An amazing platform for an amazing day.

1st March 2021

‘An amazing platform for an amazing day’. Just one of the very kind statements from delegates at the end of the AFO Online Conference 20 February 2021. This was a 12-hour streamed event which included 163 delegates, representing 60 festivals. Clearly the AFO Conference could not be a face-to-face event as normal so delegates and speakers were all at home using a variety of devices. ...

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