Australian Festival Industry Conference unveils full program

australian festival
Anthony Bastic, CEO and creative director of AGB Events, is a keynote speaker at the AFIC.

The Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) has unveiled the full program for its third annual event to be held at Luna Park Sydney in August.

“This year’s program offers learnings like never before; across a range of hot topics such as accessibility, sustainability and crowd science,” said AFIC founder and event director Carlina Ericson.

“Delegates will hear the latest research on audience purchasing behaviour. They’ll also walk away with insights into how to maximise marketing effectiveness, and how best to prepare for crises through careful communications planning. This year is certainly not one to miss.”

AFIC’s keynote presenters are Rhoda Roberts and Anthony Bastic, who both collaborate on Alice Springs light festival Parrtjima.

Rhoda’s keynote will cover how festival directors can co-design their festival programs with First Nations peoples.

“Together, we can build a festival landscape that embraces diversity, fosters mutual understanding, and celebrates the rich cultural tapestry of our nation”, said Rhoda.

Anthony’s presentation will explore how organisers can activate non-traditional public spaces and take an inclusive approach to program content development – especially relevant for local and state government producers.

“By appealing to diverse audiences, we are fostering a sense of belonging, amplifying community engagement and embracing our shared cultural heritage. The spaces become dynamic platforms for creativity, innovation and collaboration”, said Anthony.

A key theme being explored this year is ‘sustainability’. AFIC will feature an Australian-first presentation by Justyna Jochym, CEO of Festival City Adelaide.

Justyna will be unveiling Adelaide’s first ever city-wide event sustainability strategy. She’ll outline on how Adelaide’s major festivals have been collectively working together in partnership with Green Industries SA and Green Music Australia on the strategy, the first of its kind in Australia.

Greg Donovan, managing director of Big Red Bash, will discuss how he manages waste at the world’s most remote music festival. He also joins a dedicated panel of experts covering sustainability.

Best practice standards and methods for accessibility will be covered via a panel discussion, featuring Liz Martin, CEO of Accessible Arts, and Ashleigh O’Gara, Event Manager of Ability Fest (The Untitled Group).

A third panel has been added this year, entitled ‘ask the experts’: a new Q&A style opportunity for AFIC delegates to ask a panel of experienced industry experts almost anything.

Panellists include Lisa Dowsett, Head of Events & Partnerships at Northern Beaches Council; Shannon Green, Senior Manager of Business Development at Sydney Showground; and Rhoda Roberts.

A welcome function will be held on-site on Wednesday 30 August, while the conference will finish with a three-hour harbour cruise on Thursday 31 August.