Association News

AFO Conference 2017

The Association of Festival Organisers launches AFO Conference 2017


The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) has invited anyone working in the festival and events industry, either as a professional or volunteer, to join them for the 31st AFO Conference on 10-12 November 2017 at Ettington Chase Conference Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon.


Steve Heap, General Secretary of AFO says “We are excited to launch AFO Conference 2017.  We have some great speakers and sessions in the pipeline.  Delegates can expect regular Conference highlights such as the popular round table discussions and the famous Colin Irwin Interview, whose past interviewees have included Andy Kershaw, Tom Robinson, Oysterband’s John Jones and Ian Telfer amongst others.  This year’s interview promises to be just as insightful and entertaining.  Keep an eye on our website for details.”


The Conference agenda will also include hot topics, key note speakers and more intimate breakout sessions.

AFO Conference is open to all.  Steve says, “Whether you have been in the festival and event business for years or are just starting out, AFO Conference is an invaluable opportunity to share ideas, support each other and learn something new.”

Bob Rushton from Derby Live summed up the inclusive feel to AFO Conference “Brain buzzing from AFO Conference.  Some great sessions, chats, music, links and all round sense of “all being in it together”!”


Since its formation in 1986, when a small group of like-minded festival organisers got together to chat and share ideas, AFO Conference has grown into a key date in the festival and events calendar, now attracting over 250 delegates.

Chris Johnson, of Shambala Festival and Kambe Events says “AFO Conference has real integrity as an industry meeting and gathering”.


From Friday evening to late lunch on Sunday, the session rooms and stages will be buzzing with headline speakers, presentations, discussions, ‘how to do that’ sessions, panel debates and that all important time for networking. The Trade & Agent Market is in the heart of the networking space offering agents and suppliers the perfect opportunity to advertise their wares and generate new business.  Two Showcase concerts will feature the best up and coming artists on the festival scene, a chance for festival programmers to snap up these great acts and include them in their 2018 festival bill.

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