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AIF appoints Notting Hill Carnival CEO Matthew Phillip as new chair

Notting Hill Carnival CEO Matthew Phillip has been appointed as new chair of the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF).

Phillip is CEO of Carnival Village Trust, London's leading Carnival development agency, which works to deliver an integrated programme of Carnival arts.

Phillip is also CEO of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, the organisation that manages the Notting Hill Carnival, which is the second largest street festival in the world. Furthermore, he is managing director of Mangrove Carnival Arts CIC, encompassing one of the oldest steel bands in the UK and the Mangrove Mas band.

Phillip replaces Jim Mawdsley in the role, who announced in February at the AIF’s Festival Congress that he would be stepping down after seven years.

Philip started in the role at the beginning of June. He will work alongside the AIF Board, vice chair Nick Morgan and CEO Paul Reed.

“Following a robust search for the right candidate, I’m delighted to welcome Matthew as the new chair of AIF,” said Reed. “Matthew brings a wealth of relevant experience in governance and leadership as the CEO of the globally renowned Notting Hill Carnival, among other important roles.

“It remains a critical time for AIF as we emerge from the worst effects of the pandemic. Our members are facing some very difficult trading conditions, and we have a renewed focus on climate action, audience welfare and diversity. AIF’s role as a collective voice and support network to our members remains vital and I look forward to working with Matthew to ensure that the organisation evolves and continues to be a powerful advocate for the independent festival sector.”

Phillip commented: “The AIF has shown itself to be an incredible champion for independent festival operators – no more so than in recent years, both during the pandemic and what is still now a very difficult time for promoters all over the country. It’s with great pride that I take on the role of AIF chair. I look forward to offering my experience and expertise to further the organisation’s great work and help it evolve to meet today’s challenges.”