5 Sep 2023


A record 150+ people travelled to Luna Park Sydney during 30 – 31 August 2023 to attend the third annual Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC).

The Australian Festival Industry Conference (AFIC) is 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, “intellectual and ideas” and sporting festivals.

The event pulled 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, operational suppliers, and more.


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

Founder and event director, Carlina Ericson, said that she couldn’t have asked for a better result.

“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.

Rhoda Roberts – AFIC 2023

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

A second keynote was delivered by Anthony Bastic AM – CEO & Creative Director, AGB Events. He drew upon 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 The Hon. John Graham, MLC – NSW Minister for the Arts; Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy; Minister for Jobs and Tourism. Minister Graham 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 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: Rhoda Roberts AO; Shannon Green, Senior Business Development Manager of Sydney Showground and Lisa Dowsett, Head of Events & Partnerships, Northern Beaches Council.

Greg Donovan – AFIC 2023

The full list of AFIC 2023 speakers included:

Keynote speakers

  • Rhoda Roberts AO – Creative Director, Parrtjima Festival and First Nations Advisor, AGB Events
  • Anthony Bastic AM – CEO & Creative Director, AGB Events

Additional speakers

  • Samantha Palmer – General Manager Visitor Economy and Client Programs, AUSTRADE
  • The Hon. John Graham, MLC – NSW Minister for the Arts; Minister for Music and the Night-time Economy; Minister for Jobs and Tourism
  • Berish Bilander – CEO, 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
  • Shannon Green – Senior Manager, Business Development, Sydney Showground (Royal Agricultural Society of NSW)
  • Liz Martin – CEO, Accessible Arts
  • Sally Porteous – Managing Director, Red Lanyard & The Event Planners Workshop; Founder, Event Managers Network
  • Lisa Dowsett – Head of Events & Partnerships, Northern Beaches Council
  • Jake Challenor – CEO & 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 CEO, 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


Published monthly since 1991, our famous AV industry magazine is free for download or pay for print. Subscribers also receive CX News, our free weekly email with the latest industry news and jobs.