The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) has restructured its senior board, and is promising “more fire than ever before”.
Alison Wenham and Ben Turner are stepping down as chair and vice chair respectively, after six years each in the roles. Turner, who is one of the original co-founders of AIF, will remain an active member of AIF, and the organisation will continue as a subsidiary of the Association of Independent Music (AIM).
“We are incredibly proud of how fair AIF has come,” said Turner. “We now have a platform that promotes creativity, focuses on breaking new talent, and which cares about the future of our business united as one.
“This new structure will empower many others to have more of a say, and for AIF to have more firepower than ever before,” he continued. Turner is stepping down because of a move to the States.
Jim Mawdsley, CEO of music development agency Generator, replaces Wenham as Chair, with John Rostron, founder of Swn Festival, taking on the position of vice chair.
Mawdsley and Rostron began their tenure on 1 September.
“We welcome Jim Mawdsley and John Rostron as our new chair and vice chair and feel sure that under their stewardship AIF will continue to grow and will remain a powerful advocate for the independent festival sector,” said AIF general manager Paul Reed.
Reed thanked Turner and Wenham for their service to AIF, saying that their “energy, passion and vision has been a major factor in the success of our organisation to date and we know that they will remain important voices as we move forward.”
AIF has also formed a new strategy board to provide governance, guidance and accountability on plans implemented by the executive team.
Members of this new board include Turner, Rob Da Bank (Bestival), Stuart Galbraith (Kilimanjaro Live, Sonisphere), Ali McLean (DHP Family, No Tomorrow), John Empson (Eden Sessions), Freddie Fellowes (Secret Garden Party), Rob Challice (Larmer Tree), Andy Smith (Kendal Calling), Hugh Philimore (Cornbury), and Sid Sharma (Shambala).
The strategy board will function as a board of directors and will shape the direction of the organisation.
“I fully believe that this new vision will not only strengthen the operations of individual members but also promote what is collectively now a vital element in the cultural backdrop of the UK itself,” said Mawdsley.