New Covid-19 planning guidance developed for festivals

New Covid-19 planning guidance developed for festivals

A coalition of industry bodies have developed new Covid-19 planning guidance for UK festivals. 

The planning framework, which will be updated on a monthly basis, has been designed to assist festival organisers, safety advisory group members, local directors of public health and other industry parties in assessing risk levels and planning festivals based on a "flexible, pragmatic and realistic approach" to the pandemic.

The coalition includes the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) - whose Ops Group led on the document - the Association of Festival Organisers (AFO), the Events Industry Forum (EIF) and Attitude Is Everything. The working group also includes the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Public Health England (PHE), which provided input on the development of the guidance.

AIF CEO Paul Reed said: “Risk mitigation is what festival promoters do for a living, so the intent of this guidance is to outline Covid-19 specific planning considerations that will allow for bespoke risk assessment approaches in liaison with relevant authorities and agencies. I’d like to thank the AIF Ops Group for leading on this important piece of work and also DCMS, PHE officials and the wider festival industry for their invaluable contributions.”

The new guidance is available for free on The Purple Guide website. It covers eight key themes and Covid-19 safety measures, including medical and welfare arrangements; crowd considerations; response plans; security; site adjustments and specific mitigation measures.  

Members of the working group will run monthly webinars to update the festival sector and others, while agencies at a national level are being invited to provide input on an ongoing basis.

General secretary of the AFO, Steve Heap, said: “Next summer may seem far away but, in terms of festival planning, it is right around the corner. UK festivals are a world leading industry and, with tools such as this in place, we are ready to re-emerge and stage Covid safe and successful festivals in 2021. On behalf of AFO members, my thanks to colleagues at AIF for their work in developing this much needed guidance.”

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