Festival bosses join forces to form Association of Independent Festivals
POD Concerts supremo John Reynolds is one of the founding board members of the Association of Independent Festivals.
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 23 Jun 2008
The AIF is a non-profit trade organisation created to represent the interests of UK and Irish outdoor music events and is the brainchild of Rob da Bank, the club DJ and BBC Radio One dance guru behind the Bestival.
"AIF has been a seed in my brain ever since we started Bestival five years ago, where we came up against so many issues, from where to source good toilets to stopping campsite theft, to being greener, saving money, and making our event as good as can be,” da Bank explains. "In the current very competitive, very intense climate, it’s more crucial than ever to be able to bond together as like-minded independently spirited festivals to ride out the problems and make them all better for the paying customer."
The Association of Independent Festivals is an autonomous division of the Association of Independent Music, which has been fighting the good fight since 1999.
“AIM has come a very long way since it opened its doors, and no greater compliment could be paid to us than to work with the newly formed AIF,” enthuses AIM Chairman and Chief Executive Alison Wenham. “AIM and the AIF’s members are all independent entrepreneurs working in music. The synergies are undoubtedly there and we hope to provide AIF with a supportive and experienced environment in which they can develop the collective platform for the independent festival industry.”
Along with John Reynolds, whose interests this year include the Electric Picnic and the Royal Hospital Kilmainham series of gigs, the board members are Chris Greenwood (Big Chill), Chris Smith (WOMAD), Dave Farrow (Beautiful Days), Franc Gooding (Bloom Festival), Freddie Fellowes (Secret Garden Party), Jim King (Loud Sound), Nick Ladd (Glade), Rob Challice (Summer Sundae Weekender), Tom Baker (Field Day) and James Barton (Creamfields).
Reflects Barton: “There is a real opportunity to combine our spending power to deliver exciting business ideas. The smaller festivals are also often overlooked, and it’s important we now have a voice to influence decisions being made that impact on our business.”
The first AIF board meeting takes place in July, with a second wave of festivals to be invited as members over the summer.