Latest News

Back to Latest News back


2023 Australian Festival Industry Conference hailed as another success

2023 Australian Festival Industry Conference hailed as another success
September 4, 2023

A record attendance of more than 150 people engaged with the annual Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) at Luna Park Sydney on 30th and 31st August.

The third edition of the only conference in Australia dedicated exclusively to servicing the thousands of festival industry professionals that produce quality music, arts and culture, food and drink, and sporting festivals, the event drew delegates from across Australia, Singapore and the United Kingdom.

Delegates represented a range of private and not-for-profit festival organisers, as well as all tiers of Government, consultancy service providers, educational institutions and operational suppliers.

Over two full days, AFIC included:

  • A number of presentations from industry-leading professionals
  • Three panel discussions
  • Presentations by four new cutting-edge products and services to hit the Australian market
  • Two evening networking events, including a sunset cruise on Sydney harbour
  • Workshop
  • Exhibition

Advising that she couldn’t have asked for a better result, founder and Event Director, Carlina Ericson stated “the feedback throughout the conference was overwhelmingly positive and I was inundated with people expressing what a wonderful event it was and the abundance of networking opportunities AFIC provided.”

AFIC’s program of speakers were some of the country’s top festival management personnel who discussed timely topics such as sustainability, accessibility, advances in crowd science and much more.

This year’s keynote speakers were Rhoda Roberts AO, Creative Director, Parrtjima Festival and First Nations Advisor at AGB Events who drew on her 25 year career in indigenous festival production, providing expert guidance on how delegates can go about co-designing their festivals with first nations peoples.

A second keynote was delivered by AGB Events, Chief Executive and Creative Director, Anthony Bastic AM, who explained his experience of co-founding VIVID Sydney and Parrtjima Festival to discuss how festivals can take a fresh look at their open spaces and design their festival sites and content to maximise inclusivity.

Delegates were also treated to a special update by NSW Minister for the Arts, Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy and Minister for Jobs and Tourism, John Graham who talked about the recent challenges the festival and live entertainment industry has faced, particularly since the introduction of the 2019 Music Festival Act, and what the NSW Government’s plans are moving forward to help the industry continue to recover, post-pandemic.

Panel discussions covered the topics of ‘sustainability’, ‘accessibility’ and a general Q&A with three long-time industry experts: Roberts; Shannon Green, Senior Business Development Manager of Sydney Showground and Lisa Dowsett, Head of Events & Partnerships for Northern Beaches Council.

Other AFIC 2023 speakers included:

  • Samantha Palmer - General Manager Visitor Economy and Client Programs, AUSTRADE
  • Berish Bilander - Chief Executive, Green Music Australia
  • Greg Donavan - Managing Director, Outback Music Festival Group
  • Ashleigh O’Gara - Event Manager, Ability Fest (Untitled Group)
  • Caitlin McNaughton - Manager, Research and Insights, Patternmakers
  • Andrew Macarthur - Managing Director, Clean Vibes and City Return and Earn
  • Liz Martin - Chief Executive, Accessible Arts
  • Sally Porteous - Managing Director, Red Lanyard & The Event Planners Workshop; Founder, Event Managers Network
  • Jake Challenor - Chief Executive & Co-Founder, Sound Story
  • Alana Hay - Founder and Managing Director, Milestone Creative
  • Roderick van Gelder - Crowd Safety Consultant, Event Safety Institute Australia
  • Jason Holmes - Managing Director, H2 Insurance Solutions
  • Jessica Wundke - Manager of Policy Reform, Green Industries SA
  • Jeremy Fleming - Founder and Chief Executive, Stagekings (New Product Showcase presenter)
  • Luke Trickett - Founder and Managing Director, Backpocket (New Product Showcase presenter)
  • Andew Stone - General Manager, Meshh Australia (New Product Showcase presenter)
  • Robert Slikker, Group General Manager, Olinga Group / Bold Futures (New Product Showcase presenter)
  • Dr Abbas Elmualim - Partner, Bold Futures (New Product Showcase presenter)
  • Sean Murphy - AFIC Master of Ceremonies

To be kept informed of future event updates, visit

Images: The sustainability panel at AFIC (top), Rhoda Roberts addresses AFIC (middle) and Greg Donovan speaks at Luna Park Sydney (below).

Related Articles

25th August 2023 - Cairns Festival to host 2023 Australian Performing Arts Exchange

24th August 2023 - NightFest to illuminate Canberra’s Floriade festival

24th August 2023 - 10th anniversary of Yellamundie Festival marks decade of pioneering first peoples performing arts

23rd August 2023 - Sydney Showground to be first Australian venue to host multi-city contemporary Chinese and arts festival

21st August 2023 - FIFA Fan Festivals exceeded all expectations

21st August 2023 - Adelaide Cabaret Festival 2024 looks for Expressions of Interest that challenge traditional ways

8th August 2023 - Adelaide Festival secures additional $2.3 million to attract major international acts to South Australia

14th July 2023 - Adelaide Guitar Festival to impress audiences with an array of international and local performances

13th July 2023 - Inaugural popular culture festival coming to Lake Macquarie

10th July 2023 - Theatre, music, circus and cabaret among the inclusive Darwin Fringe Festival 2023 offerings

4th July 2023 - New guidelines introduced to boost Melbourne’s night-time economy

29th June 2023 - Hobart to play host to another major winter festival

19th June 2023 - Australian Festival Industry Conference reveals full program

3rd May 2023 - Leaders of global night time economy cities share insights at NEON Sydney

28th April 2023 - Initial speaker line up announced for Australian Festival Industry Conference 2023

23rd April 2023 - Parrtjima light festival wraps up its eighth successful year in Alice Springs

28th October 2022 - Launch announced for Event Safety Institute Australia

6th September 2022 - Australian Festival Industry Conference charts key future directions

9th June 2022 - Industry feedback sees Australian Festival Industry Conference add workforce skills and labour shortages discussion to program

30th August 2021 - AGB Events’ Anthony Bastic explains how events and cultural institutions will be reimagined post-COVID

23rd March 2021 - Gold Coast plans to lead economic recovery of Australia’s festival industry

8th March 2021 - Australian Festival Industry Conference to return as a live event

Support our industry news service
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

As an independent publisher, we need reader support for our industry news gathering so ask that - if you don't already do so - you back us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine and/or our online news.

Click here to view our subscription options.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play


JASSTECH Solutions

JASSTECH Solutions are distibutors for the JAYLED LED lighting range of products, developed specifically for harsh Australian environments. Delivering the highest quality performance of any…

read more

Parks / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Venues


Smart Connection Consultancy

Smart Connection Consultancy is a boutique sport and recreation consultancy who has become one of Australia’s leading advocates for the use of synthetic sports surfaces as a vehicle to grow…

read more

Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces



Email for trade enquiries:  Customer support desk - Click Myzone support or go to ‘help’ on myzone app to access live support. Myzone® is the leading…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness



A leading designer and manufacturer of innovative waterslides and attractions, Australian Waterslides and Leisure (AWL) is also able to advise clients in the areas of concept and design, feasibility…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Waterparks


State Wide Pool Services

Known as Hydrilla since September 2020 - see

read more



iDwala Pty Ltd

iDwala is the Community Sports Facility Specialist offering the highest quality designs and technical expertise to Councils, Schools and Sporting Clubs looking to create sporting…

read more

Consultants / Design / Recreation / Sport / Surfaces



Stadiums and venues around the world recognise that success hinges on more than just what happens on the pitch. More than ever, fan engagement within each facility is a critical part of the overall…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business