BAFA Conference for Festivals 2023: Festivals Unite – Navigating the Future

23 – 24 November, Manchester – Aviva Studios

Thank you for being part of the 2023 BAFA Conference for Festivals. Here you will find all the information you need to make the most of the conference, including the full programme, delegate list, information for attendees and any links, resources and audio recordings of the event.

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Thursday 23 November

1pm                             Registration

1.30pm                        Welcome (listen here)

1.45pm                        Creative provocation: Michael Betteridge 

2pm                             Workshop: Building more sustainable festivals
Helen Harland, Manchester City Council and Ottilia Ördög, Gobefest (slides from the session are available here and Manchester City Council’s questions for zero carbon events are here; listen here)
Chair – Erica Smith

3pm – 3.45pm             Coffee over breakouts – Staying afloat (see collected responses here)

3.45pm – 4pm             Provocation: Marieke Navin, Cheltenham Festivals; 
The AI future – challenges and opportunities for festivals (slides here and film link here; link to Cheltechne AI summit report here, listen here)

4pm – 5pm                  Panel: Festivals create communities (listen here)

Michael Betteridge, composer/conductor, The Sunday Boys (film link here)
Naomi Taylor, Birmingham City University (slides here)
Peter Howarth, Queen Mary, University of London (slides here)
Chair – Nick Gebhardt, Birmingham City University

7.30pm                        Dinner – Côte, Manchester 

Friday 24 November

9am                             Registration

9.30am                        Gert Naessens Update from the European Festivals Association (slides here, listen here)

9.45am                        Provocation: Tamar Brüggemann Quality?  (text here: listen here)  

10am                           Panel: Everyone’s talking about data (listen to the session here)
David Brownlee, Data Culture Change (slides here)
Jamie Snelgrove, Society of London Theatre (slides here)
Jonathan Todd, BOP Consulting (slides here)
Chair – Alexis Paterson

11.10am                      Coffee

11.40am                      Creative provocation: Sheila Hayman, filmmaker: Fanny: The Other Mendelssohn (slides here)

11.55am                      Panel: Re-mapping music
Suzanne Griffiths-Rees, Arts Council of Wales
Mica Sefia, Black Lives in Music (see Black Lives in Music resources here including the report Unseen, Unheard: race and disability – Black disabled experience in the UK music industry and Being Black in the music industry]
Chair – Simon Mundy 

1pm                             Lunch and optional tour of Aviva Studios (60 minutes)

2pm                             Cllr Luthfur Rahman, Manchester City Council Festivals make Manchester (listen to the session here)

2.15pm                        Roundtables: Sustainability; New approaches to capturing audience data; Lobbying; Festival teams; Friends; Audiences/ticketing; Staying afloat feedback

3.15pm                        Coffee

3.45pm                        Panel: Shaping the future together (listen here)
Andrew Lansley, Cheltenham Festivals (slides here)
Tamar Brüggemann, WoNDeRFeel/European Festivals Forest (slides here)
Feimatta Conteh, Manchester International Festival (slides here and link to the article on carbon offsetting here)
Chair – Jane Ali-Knight

5pm                             Close