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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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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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Local Restrictions Support Grants

Local Restrictions Support Grants

5th November 2020

FUNDS ARE NOW AT YOUR LOCAL COUNCIL OFFICE   Guidance has just gone out on accessing the £1.1bn of funding to Local Authorities to support businesses during lockdown.   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-restrictions-support-grants-lrsg-and-additional-restrictions-grant-arg-guidance-for-local-authorities?fbclid=IwAR0El71Y9l_rGzqP5ow0Gl3yCpf...

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Safety Guidance Update

Safety Guidance Update

27th October 2020

  The "Working Safely During Coronavirus Covid 19" guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants has been updated   https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts?fbclid=IwAR19e7rj9XuE--LrbVXAxX2RVpjWAshVTLdRoAi5xiY45is2q5NWsAMSusY#arts-3-2 ...

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Digital Marketing Festival Insights Report 2019

Digital Marketing Festival Insights Report 2019

22nd October 2020

Project Simply's: 2019 Digital Marketing Festival Insights Report In addition to the Insights Report Project Simply have developed a festival website framework called 'Plot' , which allows festivals to vastly reduce cost and time to market of their festival website and hosting needs, without scrimping on quality. It's geared up for simple, powerful and flexible administration a...

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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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Larmer Tree Festival - Lucy Babb

Larmer Tree Festival - Lucy Babb

21st October 2020

For those of you who have had the experience of a Larmer Tree festival you will be very sad to hear that although 2020 was clearly never going to happen, the organisers have decided that 2021 will also be put on the backburner.  Clearly some re-thinking of how the festival is managed and run is going on down there on the Wiltshire/Dorset border. To that end Lucy Babb, the General Manager o...

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Sustainability - It Is Time To Act

Sustainability - It Is Time To Act

21st October 2020

Join the movement and let's create a sustainable industry together! For more info visit https://www.vision2025.org.uk/ ...

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The restart of outdoors events and the powers of Local Authorities - A Barristers Opinion

The restart of outdoors events and the powers of Local Authorities - A Barristers Opinion

17th October 2020

Background Following the last minute cancellation of the Southampton Boat Show in September – a smaller version of the normal event – by Southampton City Council, the Forum sought advice from a leading barrister who specialises in licence issues, Phillip Kolvin QC. The following is a brief outline of his advice in relation to the use of Regulation 5(1) of The Health Protection (C...

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UK Festivals Planning Guidance Around Covid 19

UK Festivals Planning Guidance Around Covid 19

13th October 2020

Updating guidance launched today (13th October 2020) includes contributions from across the festival industry working in collaboration with DCMS and Public Health England. Newly published festival guidance around Covid-19 will assist festival organisers, safety advisory group members, local directors of public health and other industry parties in assessing risk levels and planning fes...

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Most Disappointing Day of the Year

Most Disappointing Day of the Year

9th October 2020

HELP NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!   Today will go down in history as one of the most disappointing days of the year.   Cancelling the 2020 festival season was bad enough, most of our festival industry falling through the cracks in all the chancellor’s packages over the last six months has been a big pill to swallow. He told us we are not a viable industry ...

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Liverpool City Region £40M funding

Liverpool City Region £40M funding

9th October 2020

If any readers out there have venues, performance spaces, work in or create in the Liverpool area you might be interested to know that Liverpool City Region have just come up with a £40M fund especially for those people and venues who failed to achieve anything from their Arts Council applications in the Cultural Recovery Fund (due out 12/10/2020). See here for further details And you ...

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Major Events Summit 2nd December 2020

Major Events Summit 2nd December 2020

1st October 2020

The AFO is pleased to be supporting Major Events International help our industry get back on its feet. MEI are running a seminal event on 2nd December to help the industry navigate the transition to whatever the new normal may look like. Sports event organisers, Festivals, Air Shows and other events will, for the first time ever, come together to discuss the crisis we face and possible tactical...

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WeMakeEvents Global Day of Action planned for 30th September

WeMakeEvents Global Day of Action planned for 30th September

29th September 2020

WeMakeEvents is calling on the industry to join together as a worldwide force on the 30th September for a Global Day Of Action As unemployment soars, 25 countries join together to represent over 30 million workers in the worldwide events industry The #WeMakeEvents campaign has been ramping up activity in order to highlight how the global live events industry urgently needs to get back to wor...

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VAT Notice From HMRC

VAT Notice From HMRC

28th September 2020

HMRC has produced new guidance in relation to the Chancellors announcement yesterday that these businesses that deferred VAT payments from 20 March to 30 June 2020 will not now have to pay the full amount by the end of March 2021. Under the arrangements announced yesterday, businesses will have the option to make smaller interest-free payments up to the end of March 2022. To take advantage of this...

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Beardy Folk Festival Under Covid restrictions

Beardy Folk Festival Under Covid restrictions

25th September 2020

Beardy Folk Festival (Sept 17th – 20th 2020) Under Covid restrictions – A brief report Introduction Beardy Folk Festival is situated near Cleobury Mortimer near Kidderminster.  The event was held in Hopton Court and the usual capacity of the festival is 5000.  However, for this year’s event tickets were limited to 750.  This was the only folk festival to att...

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