Saturday 10 February 2018 to Sunday 11 February 2018
Moscow, Strelka Institute (14, bldg. 5A, Bersenevskaya embankment)

In partnership with Vector School at Strelka Institute, the British Council invites producers of city-based festivals to participate in a free course on festival management.

About the workshop

Over an information packed day supported by case studies, Paul Reed, General Manager of The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), and Rebecca Ayres, COO of Sound City, will be covering areas such as:

  • what are the key challenges?
  • festival concepts, programming and creative production
  • building strong relationships with authorities
  • budgeting for success
  • attracting sponsorship and partnerships
  • building a team 
  • developing a marketing and PR strategy.  

How to apply

We invite emerging and more experienced producers of city-based festivals of different genres (music, urban, sports events etc) to apply.

Selection criteria:

  • at least 1 year experience in concert and events production
  • confident English (Upper Intermediate / Advanced)
  • high motivation and interest in the seminar.

This workshop is free. Please be aware that the British Council will not cover transport and accommodation costs.

To apply, please send your CV and letter of motivation in English to by midnight (GMT+3) by 29 January 2018.

Successful applications will be contacted by the British Council by 2 February 2018.

Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to try and avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights.

About workshop trainers

Paul Reed

As General Manager of Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), Paul is responsible for managing the association, including day-to-day operations alongside implementing strategic development and growth. In addition, Paul oversees all campaigns, communications, partnerships and membership development.

With 15 years of experience in the field, Paul has an extensive background in the live music industry having started as an independent promoter alongside working at festivals such as Evolution and Secret Garden Party. Paul then worked at music development agency Generator in a wide-ranging role that included managing their live programmes and editing industry newsletter The Gen.

Paul was also previously Head of Operations at classical music centre The Conservatoire and Operations Manager at festival event management company The Event Umbrella, with projects including an 80,000 capacity London Mela.   

Rebecca Ayres

Rebecca Ayres is COO of Sound City, which is one of the UK's leading festivals for new music. Hosting hundreds of artists performing to an audience of 23,000 music fans and 2,000 industry professionals from 30 different countries, it offers controversial debate, unparalleled networking, amazing music, outstanding art, throughout three inspirational days and hedonistic nights, in the world’s most legendary music city. Other Sound City events include New York Sound City,  

Sound City Korea, Off the Record - Manchester, Sounds of the Xity: China (in partnership with Modern Sky Entertainment).   In May 2017 Sound City hosted John Cale performing the 50th anniversary of the Velvet Underground and Nico’s ‘banana’ album.  Rebecca is passionate about emerging talent succeeding and one of the favourite parts of her role is overseeing the international and emerging artist programme. She also runs the Sound City Entrepreneur Training Programmes which are aimed at anyone who has a burning desire to work in the music industry, and is an advisor for PRS Foundation for the Momentum and Women Make Music funds as well as being a non executive director of the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF).

Association of Independent Festivals

National trade organisation The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) is the UK’s leading festival representative body. AIF is a not for profit entity, with the key objectives of helping the businesses of its festival members, and the overall needs of the independent festival sector. 

Established in 2008, the AIF has grown to be a vital support network for independent festivals promoters, creating a national network of promoters, offering a range of member services, lobbying on behalf of the sector and producing conferences and training events. The combined attendance of AIF’s member events now exceeds 800,000 and our members generate in excess of £200m in audience spend for the UK economy each year. AIF has 65 member events, ranging from the 800-capacity Starry Skies to the 60,000 capacity Boomtown Fair.

The Association features some the UK’s most successful and creative events in the UK as members including the likes of Bestival, Boomtown Fair, Shambala, End of the Road, Kendal Calling, Liverpool Sound City, 2000 Trees, Boardmasters and many more.

Festival management with Vector School at Strelka Institute

Vector School is an online-school for urban entrepreneurs who want to study their city and develop new projects around them. Vector School teaches participants an entrepreneurial way of thinking and offers courses on how to explore cities creatively, create new urban start-ups, open a hostel, create a mobile app, develop a sports-oriented project and create a successful public space. The digital platform will feature a new course on festival management. 

Course tutors are made up of leading experts from across the industry including Afisha Picnic, Present Perfect festival and Lambada market. Founders and directors of over 30 leading festivals will share their experiences and best practice, look at how to set achievable goals and manage common setbacks. The course will span ten lessons during which participants will learn how curate and manage festivals, how to plan production and select contractors, set up and manage budgets as well as how to access all possible communication channels to spread the word.

This workshop is part of the British Council’s professional development programme, Future Culture.