• Three Choirs Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • St Andrews Voices

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Newbury Spring Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Cheltenham Literature Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Cheltenham Science Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Cheltenham Jazz Festival


  • Ventnor Fringe Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

Conference for Festivals

The 2018 Conference for Festivals will be 21 - 22 November in Birmingham at Fazeley Studios. 

Please join us for the 2018 BAFA conference, and a chance to meet BAFA's new team, hear our plans for the future of BAFA and to share issues, ideas and challenges with festival colleagues.  This year's theme - Change up: the art of transformation - will give you an opportunity to hear from arts leaders and festival professionals on key issues affecting the sector. Please find a programme below (timings and sessions are subject to change):

Wednesday 21 November

11.30am – 12pm: Registration and Coffee
12pm – 12.45pm: Life Begins at 50 – BAFA Director Fiona Goh discusses the future of BAFA and how members can get involved
12.45pm – 1.30pm: Lunch and Networking
1.30pm – 2.30pm: The Art and Graft of Transformation: Keynote speech by Peter Florence, Director of Hay Festival, and Tamar Brüggemann, Managing Director of Netherlands’ Wonderfeel festival
2.30pm – 3pm: BAFA AGM and Awards
3pm – 3.30pm: Coffee and Networking (1:1 slots with specialists available)
3.30pm – 4.45pm: Look Up: Changing landscapes for festivals – panel discussion featuring Sarah Gee of Indigo; Richard Heason of St John Smith Square; Maxie Gedge of PRS Foundation and Louise Emerson of Take the Current exploring a variety of issues, from internationalism in post-Brexit Britain to Keychange, PRS’s Keychange initiative, research on audience development and giving, and why refreshing your organisational strategy and vision is crucial
4.45pm – 5.15pm: Festival Forum – your chance to drive the agenda with your issues, solutions and queries. Submit your issues in advance to help structure the session. (1:1 slots with specialists available)
7.30pm: Conference party – dinner at Brown’s

Thursday 22 November

9am – 9.30am: Registration and Coffee
9.30am – 10.30am: Round tables – sign up to have structured conversations with specialists on a range of topics, including: Festivals and membership – making the most of your Friends (Louise Emerson, Take the Current); How to make university partnerships (Professor Nicholas Gebhardt, Birmingham City University); An introduction to PRS Foundation festivals funding (Maxie Gedge, PRS Foundation); Everything you need to know about festivals insurance (Nick Smith, Graham Sykes Insurance); Programming opportunities through rural touring (Holly Lombardo, National Rural Touring Forum)
10.30am – 11am: Coffee and Networking (1:1 slots with specialists available)
11am – 11.45am: Choice of session – Developing your board or Technology matters
11.45am – 1pm: Closing panel: Resilience and creativity
1pm: Conference close

Conference Programmes