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Festivals: The lifeblood of the British summer and new music

Ben Turner

Association of Independent Festivals

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Ben Turner from the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) writes a guest blog post for us on how they work with BBC Introducing to help deliver unsigned and undiscovered artists to even bigger audiences.


My Panda Shall Fly at Radio 1's Hackney Weekend 2012

Festivals are the lifeblood of the British summer, whether attending multi-venue events in the city or rambling around fields in the English countryside. The festival members of the Association of Independent Festivals, launched to nurture and develop the most creative sector of the UK events industry, have something to offer everyone. The teams of all our festivals work all year to give people an unforgettable experience and the chance to escape from reality and music is at the heart of everything we all do.

AIF is delighted to be working with BBC Introducing again to bring new acts to the attention of our 590,000 combined festival attendees over the course of the summer. Developing our initial collaboration with BBC Introducing at the Radio 1 Hackney Weekend last year is an exciting prospect for all involved. Not only have we now gone national (last year's acts were all from Hackney for obvious reasons) but we will also be teaming up with the regional BBC Introducing shows to provide coverage and interviews around the country. 

Festivals should be an eco-system when it comes to artists – form new acts to the headliners - which of course is an inspirational experience for the acts involved. We're thrilled to see people like Savages and My Panda Shall Fly, BBC Introducing acts who played on the main stages of AIF festivals last year, go on and do so well. They all work extremely hard to get their foot in the door and it's important to reward this - something we're proud to help BBC Introducing accomplish. Championing new music is a priority for all of the promoters within AIF, they're excited to be able to help open doors for future headliners. Encouraging and developing great British talent is something to be proud of.

Ady Suleiman performs on the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury 2013. He heads to Bestival this September too.

AIF's annual research shows that for festivals goers that attend our events, it’s not just about seeing headliners, they want to discover new acts and experience new music. Each year we ask our audiences why they attend our festivals and one person summed it up perfectly when they stated: "Participation. We're not just consumers here". Like the leading specialist DJs that the BBC appoint, including AIF co-founder Rob da Bank, they thrive on being tastemakers, they want to discover a range of new music and be able to feed it back to their friends. It's important for us to be able to team-up with an initiative like BBC Introducing so that each year we can deliver the best in emerging acts to our audiences.  

A full list of the acts that our promoters have championed this year can be seen below. You can follow AIF on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates on the partnership, or even better, come and check out our festivals, and get involved in the full experience!

Camp Bestival - Ady Sulieman

Brownstock - Arthur Walwin

Belladrum: Tartan Heart Festival - Camp Stag

Kendal Calling - Camp Stag

Stockton Weekender - Collectors Club

Larmer Tree - Cymbals

Y-Not Festival - Dexters

Truck - Dingus Khan

Wakestock - Esco Williams

Belladrum: Tartan Heart Festival - Dingus Khan

Secret Garden Party - Indiana

SWN Festival - Masters in France

Tramlines - Masters in France

SWN Festival - Story Books

Leefest - Story Books

Tramlines - The Heartbreaks

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