Media Release

31 OCTOBER 2019



Over 100 people travelled to Coffs Harbour during 24-25 October to attend the country’s inaugural Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC).

The event pulled delegates from almost every State and Territory, and featured a range of private festival organisers, all tiers of Government, consultancy services, educational institutions, suppliers, and more.

Conference founder and event director, Carlina Ericson, said that she couldn’t have asked for a better result.

“For a first year event, the feedback throughout the conference was overwhelmingly positive. Some delegates even remarked that it was the best conference they had ever been to!

“This is the first time in over twenty years that a conference has been held in Australia that’s specific to festival management personnel and it was really amazing to see everyone come together in such an open and optimistic manner”, says Carlina.

AFIC’s programme of speakers were some of the country’s top festival management personnel who discussed key national issues affecting a range of festivals such health and medical safety, risk management and indigenous engagement.

This year’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 holds for festival organisers.

The panel discussion covered the topic that’s been on everyone’s mind this year: ‘pre-hospital health and medical safety at festivals’.

Its members included: Daniel Maddedu, NSW Ministry of Health; Elliot Williams, St Johns Ambulance; and Mike Hammond, EMS Event Medical.

The panel outlined the new NSW Guidelines for Music Festival Event Organisers, demonstrated a new nationally significant event medical app, and set the scene for best-practice event medical management for festival organisers, particularly in NSW.

The location was also fitting, with Coffs Harbour having recently won the globally-acclaimed International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) ‘World Festival and Event City Award’ for a fifth year in a row.

Coffs Harbour City Council gave delegates a tour of the recently $13m upgraded C.ex Coffs International Stadium, followed by a site tour with Zaccaria Concerts, ahead of their festival ‘By the C’. The line-up featured Jimmy Barnes, Jet, Eskimo Joe, Thirsty Merc, Killing Heidi and Benny Black.

So, will there be another event?

“The industry has spoken loud and clear”, says Carlina.

“They want an opportunity to connect, learn, share, and discuss key issues that they’re all facing”

“If there’s one takeaway message for festival organisers across the country, it’s that they need to be in the room next time in order to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in their industry”, says Carlina.

An announcement regarding the next event is imminent.

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AFIC 2019’s speakers:

  • Dave Horsley (MC) – Director, Screenwave International Film Festival
  • Phil Tripp – former Senior Business Development Manager, Australia, New Zealand & Hawaii, SXSW (South by Southwest) Conference & Festivals (USA)
  • Heather Croall – Director and Chief Executive, Adelaide Fringe
  • Carol Hughes – Events Officer, Tamworth Regional Council (Tamworth Country Music Festival)
  • Jon (J.C.) Corbishley FSIA – Director, The Safety Officer Pty Ltd
  • Daniel Madeddu – Director, Alcohol and Other Drugs, NSW Ministry of Health
  • Mike Hammond – Director, EMS Event Medical
  • Elliot Williams – Clinical Lead, St Johns Ambulance
  • Glenn Hardy – Partner, IER Pty Ltd
  • Chris Spencer – Director, Saltwater Freshwater Alliance (Saltwater Freshwater Festival)
  • Dan Heather – Section Leader – Stadium and Major Events, Coffs Harbour City Council
  • Alana Hay – Director, Milestone Creative
  • Sam Wild – Create NSW
  • Dane Hunnerup – Australia Council for the Arts