feed Deadline extended for the Atelier for Young Festival Managers Chiang Mai

Photo Gallery

Festival in portrait

SoNoRo Festival

Quote of the Week

“The mission of a festival should be to educate its partners to promote the important role arts and culture play in our societies!”

Ruta Prusiviciene, General Director of Vilnius Festival, in the framework of the 7th Brussels Debate

Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012

5th Atelier for Young Festival Managers LJUBLJANA 2012: intense exclusive training and high-level public events

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers LJUBLJANA 2012 – initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA) and hosted by the Ljubljana Festival – took place from 14 to 21 October 2012. It followed its core mission to offer to 32 emerging artistic festival directors from 21 countries an exclusive training schedule, thoroughly developed in cooperation with eight experienced festival managers from all over the world. Public events included the official opening ceremony with a keynote speech by internationally renowned Australian festival director Robyn Archer, a press conference with focus on the Atelier, a new EFA publication as well as EFA’s and Ljubljana Festival’s Diamond Jubilees, and a closing session with the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Danilo Türk, and festival icon Gerard Mortier.

I came here to engage, exchange, share, learn and grow, and so I did. This has been one of the most positively intensive experiences of my life - creatively, intellectually and personally.

Sean Buhagiar, Malta Council for Culture and the Arts,
Participant Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012

The Atelier online


Leading and experienced festival operators, professionals and artists gave lectures, led workshops and took part in round tables and debates – all of them spent several days with the participants of the Atelier for face-to-face contacts and discussions. At the Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012, participants met:

  • Robyn Archer (Creative Director The Centenary of Canberra (2013), Artistic Director The Light In Winter Melbourne; Australia)
  • Hugo De Greef (initiator of festivals, General Manager Bruges European Capital of Culture 2002; Belgium)
  • Bernard Faivre d’Arcier (former long-standing Artistic Director Avignon Festival, President Lyon Biennial; France)
  • Nele Hertling (Vice President of the Academy of Arts Berlin, Member Strategy Group “A Soul for Europe”, Germany)
  • Michal Merczynski (Director Malta Festival Poznan; Poland)
  • Gerard Mortier (General Director Teatro Real de Madrid, former Director Salzburger Festpiele, former Director Ruhr Triennale; Belgium)
  • Fruzsina Szép (Programme Director Sziget Festival, Budapest; Hungary)


The City - The Host

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Ljubljana is initiated by the European Festivals Association and co-organised by the Ljubljana Festival, one of the most important festivals in the region. Since 60 years, the festival has hosted numerous internationally recognised artists. The Ljubljana Festival has been a member of EFA since 1977. Ljubljana is famous for its unique character: it has preserved its historical heritage and tradition while being a modern and relatively young city – the residents' average age is only slightly above 30. Ljubljana boasts one of the world's oldest philharmonic societies. Each year it hosts over 10,000 cultural events, from prestigious musical, theatre and art events to alternative and avant-garde events, notably including 14 international festivals.

I am glad to welcome this outstanding group of two generations of festival making to Ljubljana in 2012. The two Diamond Jubilees – of both EFA and the Ljubljana Festival – and Ljubljana’s rich cultural scene, which we will explore, are the perfect backdrop for this exceptional training programme.

Darko Brlek, EFA President and Artistic and General Director Ljubljana Festival


As in the four previous editions of the Atelier in Görlitz (Germany) in 2006, in Varna (Bulgaria) in 2009, in Singapore and Izmir (Turkey) in 2011, the motto of the Atelier is: “The true role of a festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects”. Particular emphasis is placed on the artistic aspects of festival management, including artistic vision, political and social responsibility, internationalisation, networking, renewal and sustainability.


32 young festival managers from 21 countries attended the Atelier LJBULJANA 2012: coming from Australia, Belgium, Brasil, Egypt, Estonia, France, Georgia, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Palestine, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Switzerland, UK, United Arab Emirates, and USA, the participants developed a unique international network thanks to the Atelier.

Organisers and partners

Initiator of the Atelier

European Festivals Association (EFA) -

Host and Co-organiser

Ljubljana Festival -


City of Ljubljana (Founder of the Ljubljana Festival):

Ljubljana Castle:

Institut Français Ljubljana:

   British Council:


   EUNIC Slovenia:

  Embassy of France in Slovenia:

The Belgian Embassy in Ljubljana kindly supports the Closing Ceremony of the Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012 on 20 October 2012.

News and press releases


Interested in the Atelier?

If you are interested in the Atelier and future editions, please keep an eye on the Atelier website or contact


“This activity is part of the EFA RISE project implemented with the support of the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union”

Back to general information about the Atelier for Young Festival Managers and its previous editions!

European Festivals Association (EFA)
Kleine Gentstraat 46, B-9051 Gent, Belgium
T: +32 9 241 8080 F: +32 9 241 8089 -