• Cambridge Summer Music

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Cheltenham Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Blue Sky Festival


  • Salisbury Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Buxton Fringe Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

  • Brighton Festival

    BAFA: Festivals mean business

2017 Conference for Festivals

The 2017 Conference for Festivals will be in Bath 15 - 16 November with our host Bath Festivals  and the additional support of the Jane Austen Festival

Two days of positive, productive, practical and profitable discussion!

Pre-registration is now closed! Look out for your personalised booking invitation. If you are a member and have not received yours, or have any queries, please email BAFA here.
All of BAFA events are open to 'everyone' who works in or with festivals, so please book your place here:
Eventbrite - BAFA Everyone Else ticket
And if you are a student or recent graduate - first check to see if your University is a member by emailing BAFA here, and if they are not, then please book your place here, you are very welcome:
Eventbrite - BAFA Student ticket

Accommodation and Travel information

Read the flippable programme below  (or download a pdf version here). Each programme item is accompanied by links to relevant background reading which we hope you will find interesting. In the count down to the Conference, more links, articles and stories will be posted on the BAFA Facebook page—follow us here to keep informed—along with polls and other interactive activities, building our conference community until we meet face to face in Bath. @BritArtsFests   #2017BAFA

'Joining up the Dots'
23/24 November 2016
Hull, (next years UK City of Culture 2017)
#2016BAFA #JUTD (Joining up the Dots)





The 2016 Conference for Festivals was held in Hull this year, hosted by Freedom Festival. Read about it and view the resources on the conference blog.

A broad range of festival professionals were ‘Joining up the Dots’ with a format that focused on shared knowledge and experience including both interactive debates led by sector professionals and open space discussions focussing on the organisational detail (everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask!).

Against the background of Hull, UK City of Culture 2017, the programme explored global, national and local issues including: Cultural Collaboration, Cultural Commissioning and the new ways of partnership working this opens up for festivals, Cultural Impact, looking at the complexities in measuring extra-financial impact – the ‘social value’, and Cultural Tourism.

Alongside these headline debates, there was an extensive programme of round table Open Space style break-out. These were hosted by sector professionals and topics that were covered will include PRS, Access, Sustainability, Research, Audience Development, Social Inclusion, Contracts, Digital Marketing and the relationship between festivals/live events and Artists Managers - to name just a few.

Read more about the 2016 programme in our Conference Blog and about BAFA and our broad membership (from Presteigne Festival to Ventnor Fringe to Edinburgh International Festival) on the BAFA Website.

Thank you to everybody who joined us in Hull!





A Review of the 2015 Conference for Festivals 

Social media at the conference: We worked with social media practitioner, Caron Lyon to extend the audience of our conference. Extend The Audience (ETA) uses between 3 and 5 mainstream social media platforms to structure a curated program of online activity for a registered audience. Each ETA supported event has a page like this one to share with the wider web audience who follow mainly via Twitter. Find out more here.

We had a fantastic time in Sonia Stevenson and Lichfield Festival team. The Festival Question Time was an extra to the conference programme this year and was enjoyed by many in the Guildhall by candlelight. We were exceptionally pleased with the Garrick Theatre as our main venue which provided space for intimate breakout spaces as well as a superb studio which was brought to life by O Duo who provided the opening performance. This day was rounded off with a party at the Erasmus Darwin House. The Friday sessions were hled in the George Hotel and the library and the experience was completed with a guided walk by Lichfield's Peter Walker.

Thank you to all of our partners for their support and generosity, our speakers for kindly giving up their time and inspiring us and last but not least to all of the delegates for providing interesting and challenging discussions, and a great fun couple of days

Presentations from 2015 Conference:

Bridging the Gap: Politics, Society and the Arts

David Brownlee: Director, BON Culture

European Partnerships

Claire Sharples: Culture Coordinator, Creative Europe Desk UK

Acceptance of the new

Penny Mills: Area Director, Audience Agency

Marketing and fundraising strategy

Debbie Liggins: Business Development Director, Orchestra of the Swan

2015 Programme


Archive Conference Programmes