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Media Release

13 January 2020

Save the Date: Australian Festival Industry Conference set to return in 2020

The Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) – Australia’s only conference for festival management personnel – is set to return again during Tuesday 22 to Thursday 24 September, following the success of its inaugural event.

In response to overwhelming demand, the event has been expanded to span across three days; and while the program is still being finalised, the one issue that’s on everyone’s minds at the moment is ‘emergency management’ and ‘fire safety’.

Already the current bush fire season has claimed the cancellation of a number of festivals, including Falls Festival in Lorne (VIC), Lunar Electric in Maitland (NSW), Lost Paradise in the Central Coast (NSW), A Day On The Green in Rutherglen (VIC), and the World Rally Championship in Coffs Harbour (NSW).

“The economic value that festival tourism contributes to metropolitan and regional communities (such as those on the NSW South Coast and in Victoria) is not to be underestimated, and the impact will be substantial”, says founder and event director, Carlina Ericson.

Additionally, we saw a number of Councils over New Year’s Eve, such as Sydney and Adelaide reconsider the running of their fireworks displays, while other destinations and events such as Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and ‘NYE in the Park’ completely cancel their displays as a safety precaution.

“This obviously raises an important issue that is critical to the successful planning of any festival and will therefore be a key topic of this year’s conference”, says Ms Ericson.

AFIC’s inaugural success in 2019

Last year marked a significant milestone in Australia’s festival industry history: for the first time in over twenty years, a conference dedicated exclusively to festival management personnel was held.

The event drew delegates from almost every State and Territory, including public sector professionals, private festival organisers, consultants, educators, suppliers, and more.

Its program of speakers were some of the country’s top professionals who discussed key national issues affecting a range of festivals, such as health and medical safety, crowd management and indigenous engagement.

AFIC’s keynote speaker was long-time music and festival industry veteran, and retired SXSW Senior Business Development Manager, Phil Tripp, who outlined what the future held for festival organisers.

“The industry spoke loud and clear: both throughout the conference and long after the event had concluded the feedback has been nothing short of positive”, says Ms Ericson.

“Some delegates even remarked that it was the best conference they had ever been to!

“It’s clear that the industry wants an opportunity to connect, learn, share, and discuss key issues that they’re all facing.

“I look forward to welcoming everyone back later this year!” says Ms Ericson.

A location is still yet to be announced.

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