Everyone’s talking about festivals. Carlina Ericson wants us to talk some more.

Ericson is the smarts and the strategist behind the inaugural Australian Festival Industry Conference, which will take place over two days this October in Coffs Harbour, an idyllic spot on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales.

If timing really is everything, the AFIC arrives right on cue. Over the past year, the festivals space has been a searing-hot talking point across the mainstream media and in the halls of power.

In 2019, everyone’s mum and dad is across the issues, from pill testing to drug-related deaths, the return of the touring juggernauts and premier Gladys Berejiklian’s festivals licensing regime, a sore point that triggered a campaign and a public march on central Sydney.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaking about the cancellation of Mountain Sounds
Gladys Berejiklian

Indeed, the NSW Coroners Courtis currently probing fatalities at music festivals as part of a week-long inquest. As Australians layer-up for winter, summer festivals are still very much on the agenda.

Ericson’s summit isn’t a reaction to any of these issues, and the many others bubbling away in the festivals space. “The idea purely came about because I was looking to attend a conference for professional development purposes.

When I looked into that space, nothing existed. It’s just pure coincidence,” she tells TIO. “A lot of things have happened this year, in a strange way it has worked in my favour because festivals is a hot topic of discussion in general.”