(CelebrityAccess) — Representatives from a group of North American festival producers and live events companies have come together to form the Coalition of Festivals, a new trade association focused on creating an equitable, diverse, and sustainable festival industry.
The Coalition of Festivals was launched by a group of industry leaders who bring significant experience to the table, forming a steering committee that includes Jonathan Azu (Culture Collective, Diversity in Music), Kyle Casey (Gravity Productions), Kierrah Matthews, Veline Mojarro (SHIFT Consulting), Katelyn Scott (Winter Circle Productions), Jen Stiles (Founders Entertainment), and Evan Tzeng (StayAltered).
At launch, festivals aligned with the goals of the Coalition include Broccoli City, The Governors Ball Music Festival, Hulaween, Lightning in a Bottle, Outside Lands, and multiple AEG Presents festivals.
Participating production companies include: Do LaB, Founders Entertainment, Fox Pocket, Gravity Productions, Hula Holdings / Good Form, Old Soul Production Services, and Superfly. Additionally, Coalition of Festivals is supported by social impact partners including A Greener Festival, Diversify The Stage, Diversity in Music, she said.so, SHIFT Consulting, and Well Dunn.
As well, the Coalition of Festivals eventually plans to include artist, communities, and fans as well, the organization said.
“My career was built within the festival industry and I truly believe that Coalition of Festivals is what we need now more than ever,” says Azu. “Festivals have the power to impact and unite millions of people of all backgrounds. The time is now for producers to unite, build community, and initiate change!”
At launch, the Coalition of Festivals announced plans to focus on two initial programs:
Program 1, “Be The Change”: A series of educational webinars and facilitated dialogues for current festival producers, department heads, and promoters. Topics range from allyship, building a culture of consent, and undoing toxic traditional workplace habits. Closed-door discussions allow festival producers to strategize on best practices and how to apply them to back-of-house and on the ground.
Program 2, “Create Change”: Co-founded with partners Diversify The Stage and Well Dunn, the goal with Create Change is to amplify existing educational programs and mentorship initiatives for future music industry leaders. Together, the Coalition will work to eliminate barriers to entry within the industry by creating access to job opportunities for underrepresented communities, including women, people with disabilities, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ individuals.
“The steering committee itself is a great example of the community we hope to build,” says Stiles. “We have all circled around each other professionally for years, and after spending these past months developing the Coalition, I can honestly say that we see ourselves as a united community of leaders with a common goal.”
“The follow-through starts now,” the steering committee adds. “This is our call to action, and a chance to radically re-imagine our industry.”