Founded in 1987 by Steve Heap, the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) works for and with festivals and events, to support live arts. We speak to Steve about what the Association has to offer . . .

Who can join AFO and how much does it cost?

“Any festival, supplier or independent worker in the festival industry can join us. Membership costs go from £120 per year, dependant on the capacity of your festival, up to a maximum of £400 per year.”

What are the benefits of being part of AFO?

“Our members have access to resources, discount insurance, discount training and conferences, plus 24/7 support and advice, free tickets for other member festivals – and more.”

What are your main activities?

“AFO supports its members and speaks on their behalf at both national and local government levels. We also represent their interests with various groups like LIVE, Musicians’ Union, Vision 2025 and many others.

We organise an annual conference and various training days, and also have focus groups on diversity, equality & inclusion and climate change.”

What is the best piece of advice you would give to somebody thinking of setting up a festival (apart from joining AFO, of course!)?

“Know who your festival is for, what it is for and if the people in your community actually want it.”

How can people find out more information about the Association of Festival Organisers?

Visit or email [email protected]