Creative industry heavyweights to discuss future of festivals at major event

The future shape of the festival and events sector will come under the spotlight when a heavyweight panel of creative industry leaders – including Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis – gathers at Bath Spa University next month.

The event will be a chance for festival industry professionals – as well as those just starting out – to discuss the challenges and opportunities they face, and hear from experts on how they can future-proof their businesses.

The West of England is home to a huge range of festivals and cultural events from Glastonbury – the largest event of kind in the world – to WOMAD, The Bath Festival and Bristol Harbour Festival, to smaller events covering music of every type, visual art, literature, film, dance, circus skills, poetry and crafts.

As a result, the region has developed a large pool of skilled performers, venues and associated professionals linked to the industry.

The event, on Tuesday February 6, is the second in Bath Business School’s 2017-18 series of Creative Business Network discussions. 

Michael Eavis, pictured above, will be joined by Bristol-based trainer, singer and founder of the RYMA awards Kizzy Morrell, pictured below, creative director at The Invisible Circus Doug Francisco, head of programming at The Bath Festival Judith Robinson and Phil Casteng of Bristol Music Trust, Bath Guitar Festival and The Bath Festival. 

As well as a Q&A session, when the audience will be encouraged to quiz the panel, the evening event will include drinks and nibbles, live music and a stage production showcase from Hot Cheeks, the team behind the Glastonbury Glade area. 

Bath Spa University senior lecturer in business management Darren Hoad, who is pathway leader for festivals and event management, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have such a renowned line-up of industry speakers joining us for our next Creative Business Network event.

“The future of the festivals and event industry is an incredibly exciting one, but there are certain challenges ahead that businesses must overcome if they are to stay commercially viable and relevant.

“I’m looking forward to hearing the panel’s thoughts on what they have planned for the next 12 months and any wisdom they can impart on our next generation of event organisers.”

Bath Spa University, which has been teaching business and management since 1997, established the Bath Business School in 2015 to accommodate growing student numbers and demand for its courses, including the BA (Hons) Business and Management (Festivals and Events).

The course teaches students the theory behind organising successful festivals and events as well as providing on-the-ground practical experience with the school’s many industry links, helping them develop the core skills they will need to gain employment in the industry.

Members of staff from Glastonbury Festival regularly attend the university to deliver lectures, and in 2016 two students gained work placements at the festival as part of their courses.

Festivals: sustainability, survival and the future of the industry takes place at the Michael Tippett Centre, Bath Spa University on February 6 from 6pm to 8.30pm.

To register, visit



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