Independent music festivals have always been dynamic entities in response to shifting audience and industry trends. Over the past five years, however, things have been evolving even more rapidly. With shrinking budgets and a weak Canadian dollar, how do festivals develop sustainable practices and maintain quality bookings? Is it wise to intentionally restrict growth for economic, political or curatorial reasons? To answer these questions, we’re bringing together a range of organizers from independent festivals of various sizes to identify how things have changed within the festival space and to think critically about how we’re moving forward. >> Samir (Sam) Baijal has been the Artistic Director at the Hillside Festival since 1998. He also programs entertainment and special events for the University of Guelph where has worked for over 30 years. >> Emmanuel Sayer is the co-founder and artistic director for Ottawa Explosion Weekend, a yearly multi-day, multi-venue DIY music festival. >> Dana Beeler has worked as a venue manager in Halifax and at variety of music festivals and industry events, including the East Coast Music Awards and Nova Scotia Music Week. She now leads production and programming for In the Dead Of Winter Music Festival, sings in the band Hello Delaware, and runs Golden Bay Promotions. >> Montreal-born Melissa Auf der Maur is Co-Founder and Director of Basilica Hudson. She played in the alternative rock band Hole from 1994-199 and joined the Smashing Pumpkins in 2000 for their Farewell World Tour in addition to releasing two albums of solo material. >> Eric Barleen is a Talent Buyer at Another Planet Entertainment who books clubs, theaters, arenas, amphitheaters and festivals. He likes to ride his bike and has a pet fish named Russ.