Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
4:27 PM 16th November 2021

Festival Organisers Head To Harrogate For British Arts Festival Association

Festival organisers from around the country are heading to Harrogate this week for a major industry conference.

The British Arts Festival Association, the network and development agency for UK arts festivals whose members include The BBC Proms, is holding its first in-person meeting since before the Pandemic struck.

Being held on Tuesday, November 17 and Wednesday 17, at The Crown Hotel, and hosted by Harrogate International Festivals, speakers at the event include Gary Briggs from Manchester International Festival; Mary Burch from the creative arts mental health charity, Industry Minds; and Harrogate International Festivals Chief Executive Sharon Canavar.

Subjects being explored over the two days include re-imagining the arts during the Pandemic, diverse recruitment, reconnecting with audiences, festivals and mental health and the future of festivals.

Sharon Canavar, who takes to the speakers’ podium on the second day of the conference, said: “It’s an honour for Harrogate to be chosen as the destination for The British Arts Festivals Association, and we are delighted to be hosting it at The Crown Hotel.

“Festivals and live events were decimated during the pandemic, and the industry is still very much in recovery mode. Nervousness still surrounds hosting and attend events, and it’s going to take many months for normality to return.

“Whilst we might have held a number of events this year including live outdoor installations with ‘In Memoriam’ and most recently ‘1571’, alongside our traditional literature events, the planning of them was incredibly challenging.

“However, being back doing what we do best was just fantastic, and it was appreciated by all concerned, from performers and authors to the technical crews, host venues and of course festival goers.”