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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 - September 2020

General Secretary Writes - September 2020

24th September 2020

So that’s about the end of the 2020 season When I last wrote the details of my diary known as ‘General Secretary Writes’, we were in the middle of August with loads of festivals that should have happened and of course virtually none did. We continue to talk with government through DCMS and UK Music amongst others to achieve best possible deals for festivals and that was con...

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Members Online Meetings

Members Online Meetings

22nd September 2020

There have been several Members Online Meetings since the Covid attack and all attended by over 20 members. The General Secretary gives a great deal of news and information of what is going on in the wider events world and members have the opportunity to talk about the ups and downs of having to cancel their festival and more positively, talk about how they are planning 2021 All members are ...

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Major Events International Summit

Major Events International Summit

16th September 2020

THE MAJOR EVENTS SUMMIT - 2ND DECEMBER 2020   COPING WITH THE CHALLENGES OF EVENT DELIVERY IN THE MIDST OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC     Major Events International (MEI) is a Management Consultancy who, for over 10 years, have specialised in helping all organisations succeed in the global sports events market: from commercial companies, rights holders, gover...

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Kendal Mountain Festival 2020

Kendal Mountain Festival 2020

15th September 2020

Kendal Mountain Festival's Announcement: As mountain enthusiasts, we’re all familiar with the challenge of assessing risk. Do you continue to head for that summit, or seek another route? Recent events have made it clear that, for us, it’s time to re-calibrate. We all want Kendal Mountain Festival to excite and inspire in the same way that it has for forty years. But bringing ...

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Rule of Six In Scotland And Wales

Rule of Six In Scotland And Wales

14th September 2020

For our members in Scotland and Wales THE RULE OF 6 has some variations. Wales and Scotland have now introduced their own rules for Six people gathering which differ from England, just to complicate things for everyone! Wales In Wales, the “rule of Six” will only apply to people meeting indoors and all six people must all belong to the same “extended household group&r...

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FAQs - VAT reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation & attractions

FAQs - VAT reduced rate for hospitality, holiday accommodation & attractions

11th September 2020

AFO was part of the UKMUSIC campaign to get a reduction in VAT on Tickets sales and the subsequent campaign to confirm Festivals were seen as attractions and so be included. The following information may answer some of the queries we have been receiving. Readers may also be interested to know that there is now a new campaign to have this VAT reduction period extended into , at best the next ...

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Open Air Business Gathering 2021

Open Air Business Gathering 2021

11th September 2020

NEW DATES -  7 - 8 SEPTEMBER 2021 Our colleagues at Open Air Business have their annual "gathering". A very useful event for Festival and Events organisers. Full line up and speakers at www.oabgathering.com...

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Resilient festival organisers create new style events

Resilient festival organisers create new style events

26th August 2020

The Association of Festival Organisers has always known its members are dedicated and resilient, but according to Gen. Sec Steve Heap “we really did not expect so many events to resurface in 2020.” It was generally thought the festival season was wiped out with 95% of the usual festivals postponing to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By the time we got to June there were sounds...

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Important News Update For AFO Members

Important News Update For AFO Members

12th August 2020

We tried to get a consortium bid together for AFO members but I’m afraid that battle was lost. They out gunned us!! So take the advice and if £50k is too much go for a Project grant starting at £10k. See also Lucy Stones slides from her webinar on how to apply. Very useful info and all free to AFO members read on…………. We've had clarif...

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General Secretary Writes - August 2020

General Secretary Writes - August 2020

11th August 2020

I think I brought my diary up to date with you to somewhere in the middle of July. I can tell you now that on 19 July we had a meet with Simon Care to discuss a few things about how AFO was handling the Covid crisis.  We also had a moment to check out the Albion Christmas Tour which may or may not occur and the Towersey At Home Day on 29 August. 20 July - I was invited to appear on BBC ...

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Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage

Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage

7th August 2020

£50,000 Minimum Grants Application – unlikely, but there is an alternative.   The Heritage Lottery Fund has a Cultural Recovery Fund for Heritage which starts at around £10,000.  You may quality if your festival or event is in need of a small amount of funds to get you through.  It is more reading I am afraid and you need to visit www.heritagefund.org.uk/fund...

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Voluntary Arts - restarting voluntary arts activity across all artforms

Voluntary Arts - restarting voluntary arts activity across all artforms

6th August 2020

Restarting Voluntary Arts Activites Invitation: Monday 7 September 2020, 2pm - 4pm Following several months of restrictions due to the pandemic, some creative activities are permitted to resume as measures are eased. Voluntary Arts is inviting representatives from umbrella bodies and other networks involved in delivering participatory arts activities to join us for a special online discus...

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New Rules On Gatherings In Some Parts of Northern England

New Rules On Gatherings In Some Parts of Northern England

31st July 2020

We are sorry to hear this. I hope it doesn’t affect you too badly and will with luck and sensible people soon be reversed.   New rules on social gatherings will be introduced in Northern England to stop the spread of COVID-19. These changes will also apply in Leicester city. This will affect any events being planed in these areas.   This is in response...

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Steve Heap's article in the latest edition of Open Air Business

Steve Heap's article in the latest edition of Open Air Business

30th July 2020

Check out Steve Heap's article in the latest edition of Open Air Business     View Document ...

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Showman’s Show - A Year Off

Showman’s Show - A Year Off

30th July 2020

In mid-July, Johnny and Jeremy Lance announced a year off for the Showman’s Show. Readers will remember I always encourage festival organisers to visit the Showman’s Show, normally in October at Newbury Showground, simply because it is a great place to meet with colleagues, keep an eye out for new products available for festival organisers and get some of your infrastructure booked ...

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Key dates for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

Key dates for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

21st July 2020

Key dates for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)  Submit your CJRS claim for periods ending on or before 30‌‌‌ ‌June 2020 by 31‌‌‌ ‌July 2020. This is the last date you can make those claims. You need to have made a claim at any point on or before 31‌‌‌ ‌July to be able to make a claim for future months. From 1‌...

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We seem to be making progress with Government!

We seem to be making progress with Government!

20th July 2020

After several weeks of discussions with government departments the live music world was very pleased to hear the Chancellor announce a £1.57Bn support package for Arts & Heritage.  This, alongside a drop of 15% in VAT on sales of tickets for attractions.  Yes, festivals are attractions. The latter is to run from 15 of July to 12 of January 2021.  It was an immediate boo...

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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 l...

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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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