The UK’s Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) will break away from its parent company AIM and operate as a separate company from April this year.
The move comes as AIF celebrates its 10th year, having been set up as a division of AIM in 2008, co-founded by Bestival’s Rob da Bank and Ben Turner, with help from former AIM Chief Executive Alison Wenham.
AIF’s current General Manager Paul Reed (pictured) is announced as Chief Executive of the new company.
Reed will be supported by AIF Chair Jim Mawdsley, Vice Chair Goc O’Callaghan (of ArcTanGent festival) and 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.
Further bolstering the AIF team is Phoebe Rodwell, who joins from the Music Managers Forum (MMF) as Membership and Project Coordinator, a newly created role that will focus on membership development.
The company will also move into new premises at The Handbag Factory in Vauxhall, London.
Over the last 10 years, The AIF has grown from 12 to 65 members, with a collective audience of more than 600,000.
“Following 10 successful years, it feels like AIF has grown up and is ready to leave home.”
Paul Reed (pictured)
It has spearheaded a number of campaigns on behalf of its members throughout its history, covering a range of issues including police charging at events, a reduced separate PRS tariff for festivals, combating legal highs, business rates on festival sites, secondary ticketing, and greater accessibility for deaf and disabled audiences.
Last year, AIF led a campaign for safer spaces at festivals with over 30 festivals blacking out their websites to raise awareness of sexual violence, reinforce zero-tolerance policies and promote safety messages alongside signing a charter of best practice.
In 2014, the association developed its annual Festival Congress – a conference and awards event will take place in Sheffield for the first time in 2018 following four years in Cardiff.
Newly promoted AIF Chief Executive Paul Reed said: “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.”
AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said: “It is fantastic to see AIF take the next step in their development and incorporate. This is yet another sign of the strength and sense of community in the independent music sector that AIM exists to support and empower. I would like to congratulate Paul Reed and his team on their great work and the critical work they do for their members. I very much look forward to working closely with them into the future.”Music Business Worldwide