AFO guidance re: Costume and makeup of performers

Since 1987 The Association of Festival Organisers (AFO) has been encouraging, advising and educating festival and event organisers throughout the UK.  The Association makes no rules but offers a code of conduct for those involved in organising festivals and events.

Recently, some festivals have encountered concerns over the makeup and colouring of performers, especially in dance shows.

From plenty of available evidence it is quite clear that colouring of faces – red, green, blue, black, white and others – is common in traditional, cultural and religious ceremonies throughout the world.  In many cases to “ward off evil spirits” or “to avoid recognition by…”

In some countries, governments have seen fit to make laws to control such “theatrical behaviour”, whilst others recognise the tradition or culture and allow, even encourage its use.

The AFO would recommend that such performances are displayed within UK law and with fair and reasonable consideration to the performer’s audience, whilst maintaining their own aims and objectives.

Meanwhile, at AFO Conference, 11-13 November 2016, Ettington Chase Conference Centre, Stratford upon Avon, a facility will be available for those fully paid up delegates who wish to debate the subject.

The Agenda for Conference is already very full and this subject will not form part of the busy official programme.

Steve Heap
General Secretary
September 2016