The Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) is set to return again this year following the success of its inaugural event.
In response to overwhelming demand, the event has been expanded to span across three days from 22 to 24 September.
While the programme is still being finalised, the one issue that’s on everyone’s minds at the moment is “emergency management” and “fire safety”, says founder and event director Carlina Ericson.
Already the current bush fire season has claimed the cancellation of a number of festivals, including Falls Festival in Lorne (VIC), Lunar Electric in Maitland (NSW), Lost Paradise in the Central Coast (NSW), A Day On The Green in Rutherglen (VIC), and the World Rally Championship in Coffs Harbour (NSW).
“The economic value that festival tourism contributes to metropolitan and regional communities, such as those on the NSW South Coast and in Victoria, is not to be underestimated, and the impact will be substantial,” said Ericson.
“Additionally, we’ve seen a number of Councils over New Year’s Eve, such as Sydney and Adelaide reconsider the running of their fireworks displays, while other destinations and events such as Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and ‘NYE in the Park’ completely cancel their displays as a safety precaution.
“This obviously raises an important issue that is critical to the successful planning of any festival and will therefore be a key topic of this year’s conference.”
A location is still yet to be announced.