UK Association Of Independent Festivals Becomes Its Own Company

Founded as a division of the Association of Independent Music (AIM) in 2008, the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has broken free from its parent company in its 10th year of existence.

– Bestival
The festival of AIF co-founder Rob da Bank

Bestival founder Rob da Bank and music manager Ben Turner, owner of Graphite Media, founded the AIF in 2008, with help from AIM’s former chief executive Alison Wenham.

Phoebe Rodwell
– Phoebe Rodwell
AIF’s new membership and project coordinator

AIF’s general manager Paul Reed will continue to head the association as chief executive as it stands on its own. AIF chair Jim Mawdsley and vice chair Goc O’Callaghan will support Reed, as will a board of directors that includes executives from festivals and companies such as Standon Calling, Broadwick Live, Kilimanjaro Live, Greenbelt, Liverpool Sound City, Deershed, Bestival and The Fair.

Joining AIF in the newly created role of membership and project coordinator is Phoebe Rodwell, who was previously working for the UK’s Music Managers Forum.

AIF’s new HQs are at The Handbag Factory in Vauxhall, London. The association has grown from 12 to 65 members over the past decade. AIF’s member festivals attract an audience of more than 600,000 each year.

Several UK agents recently partnered with AIF to provide gig opportunities for newcomers at AIF member festivals. Participating agents include Shaun Faulkner (X-Ray Touring), Angus Baskerville (13 Artists), Cecile Communal and Clementine Bunel (ATC Live), Olly Hodgson (Coda Agency) and Chris Smyth (Primary).

Festivals on board with the scheme include Tramlines, Shambala, Kendal Calling, Handmade Festival, 2000trees, Nozstock, Beat-Herder, Barn on the Farm, Hanwell Hootie and Twisterella.

Since 2014, the association has been organizing the Festival Congress, and the accompanying Independent Festival Awards. After four sold-out editions in Cardiff, Wales, the congress moves to Sheffield, England. Dates have yet to be set.

Paul Reed
– Paul Reed
Chief Executive of the AIF

Said Reed: “Following 10 successful years, it feels like AIF has grown up and is ready to leave home. I’d like to thank all at AIM for supporting and nurturing AIF, enabling us to grow from a handful of promoters around a table to an invaluable support network for our 65 members.

“I’m incredibly excited about the future. We’re working on a number of initiatives and campaigns for this year and, with a new team in place, we’re in a strong position to move on to the next phase of our development.”