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Quote of the Week

More than ever, in present and future times, a festival must be an effective vehicle for peace and social cohesion and must ensure an open perspective on the world; to this end it must be very active, unconventional and prepared to take risks.

Enrique Gamez Ortega, Director Granada Festival

EFA News

Michał Merczyński: “Co-production is a risk but it is the most fruitful way to produce new pieces”

01 October 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Poznan from 20-27 October 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 40 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Michał Merczyński, General Director Malta Festival Poznań and Nostalgia Festival Poznan. He previously participated in the Atelier IZMIR 2011, Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012 and the Atelier EDINBURGH 2014. - more...

Annemie Vanackere: “Creating an adventurous international programme”

29 September 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Poznan from 20-27 October 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 40 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Annemie Vanackere; she will join the team of mentors of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers for the first time in Poznan. - more...

Bernard Faivre d’Arcier: “A festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects”

24 September 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Poznan from 20-27 October 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 45 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, former long-standing Director of the Avignon Festival and President of the Lyon Biennial in France. He joined the team of presenters at the Atelier GÖRLITZ 2006, Atelier VARNA 2009, Atelier SINGAPORE 2011, Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012 and Atelier EDINBURGH 2014. - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers POZNAN 2014 – Seven Mentors Announced

22 September 2014

[PRESS RELEASE; Brussels, Belgium] The Festival Academy’s Atelier for Young Festival Managers, the training programme initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), announces seven renowned festival directors from all over the world who will participate in the next edition in Poznan, Poland from 20-27 October 2014 organised in collaboration with the Malta Festival Poznan. - more...

Nele Hertling: “A festival director must support the artist”

17 September 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Poznan from 20-27 October 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 45 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Nele Hertling, Vice President of the Academy of Arts Berlin in Germany. She has participated in each Atelier edition: GOERLITZ 2006, VARNA 2009, SINGAPORE, IZMIR 2011, LJUBLJANA 2012 and EDINBURGH 2014. - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Beirut, 21-27 March 2015: deadline extended until 31 October

16 September 2014

The Festival Academy is delighted to announce that the application deadline has been extended for the Atelier for Young Festival Managers Beirut 2015 to give more young festival managers the opportunity to apply. Young festival managers from all over the world are invited to apply until 31 October 2014. The Atelier will take place from 21 to 27 March 2015 in Beirut, Lebanon, in collaboration with the Beiteddine Art Festival. - more...

Hugo De Greef: “The Atelier is about exchanging experiences"

10 September 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Poznan from 20-27 October 2014, all presenters who will participate to exchange with 45 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. Seven renowned festival directors will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier POZNAN 2014. One of them is Hugo De Greef, Co-founder and Board member of The Festival Academy and former EFA Secretary General, who is also the General Coordinator of the Atelier. - more...

FestFlash 3/2014: Detecting festival movements

14 August 2014

“It’s always festival season somewhere,” Eva Nunes rightly says in one of her latest blog posts. We couldn’t agree more. Our bloggers let themselves be inspired by their latest festival experiences, they explore the relation between festival directors, artists and audiences, and look at the role, value and impact of festivals in our broader glocal contexts. What’s more, this FestFlash includes a special insightful collection of artistic discoveries! Enjoy our festival stories and get in touch with us if you have a story of your own to tell! - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Beirut, 21-27 March 2015: deadline approaching!

13 August 2014

The Festival Academy’s 2015 Atelier for Young Festival Managers, initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), will take place from 21 to 27 March 2015 in Beirut, Lebanon, in collaboration with the Beiteddine Art Festival. Young festival managers from all over the world are invited to apply until 12 September 2014. In the vibrant Lebanese cultural city, some 10 renowned festival directors will guide 45 participants through the 7-day training programme. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: What I heard about the (Arts) World*

05 August 2014

What I heard about the (Arts) World shares with you some creations, projects, ideas or festivals of which we heard of from our EFA festivals, from the European House for Culture members and from our trusted friends that inspired them, us and hopefully you, as an audience and as human beings. Festivals are always making it possible to give creators the opportunity to develop their work and challenge themselves and audiences to access great original work. This season, our EFA festivals are doing this by presenting numerous world premieres, new productions and collaborating with each other. Here are some of the numerous examples. Read the full blog by Eva Nunes on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Detecting movement in Spain

30 July 2014

And it’s festival season! Well, to be accurate, between the many offers in all the different genres it’s always festival season somewhere. Festivals are moments of celebration and coming together, of exchange and awe, of discussion and reflection, so it is no wonder their appeal is so great to both audiences and artists alike. Back in the day when I was working as a tour manager I spent many hours trying to distinguish which piece would be interesting for each festival, which sensibilities would match, which audiences would welcome which form. In the last weeks, and with the news of many initiatives aiming at recognising the vast variety of festivals of multiple art forms, such as EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (the new European Commission pilot project for festivals initiated by EFA), I was triggered to refresh my memory of the festivals I fell out of contact with, the festivals I got to know and the festivals that no longer exist. Read the full blog by Eva Nunes on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Time for thought and space for change

24 July 2014

Summer is high festival season all over Europe; a busy time for festival directors that is both stressful and fulfilling. With hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, attending festivals and enjoying performances these days I feel it is a good moment to reflect about the responsibilities of festival directors. We must look at their responsibility to offer the best of the arts, to create a space of encounter for artists and audiences alike. They must also be impactful with their festival as artistic performances are curated as part of festivals’ socially and politically engaged programmes. Read the full blog by Kathrin Deventer on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Your artists are our artists

15 July 2014

“You have a flight tomorrow morning? Close your eyes and try to sleep now.” He looked at me surprised. Then he smiled and slowly closed his eyes. A Polish musician, a member of Sinfonia Varsovia that had just performed at the International Izmir Festival, was sitting next to me. The bus was going down on a dark, silent road. We had just left Ephesus to go back to Izmir city. Before falling asleep I was wondering: “Why do I always have this feeling of attachment to the artists?” After all, these artists were the professionals who came to do their job. They were paid and they performed for the festival audience, and then they were again on their way to another festival. Read the full blog by Hasan Isikli on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Glocal Festival Communities

10 July 2014

Every festival today faces the need to justify its existence. Festivals exist in a larger societal framework and have responsibilities, just like individual citizens or large corporations, for the development, openness and well-being of that society. As I travel across Europe, visiting a diverse array of festivals, I see they are all working on connecting the arts and the artists with people. They are bridging various agendas representing a ‘glocal’ struggle that most arts organisations experience nowadays: addressing global issues, engaging local communities, surprising citizens with new artistic discoveries and celebrating cultural heritage – all the while fighting for economic survival. Read the full blog by Kathrin Deventer on Festival Bytes - more...

EFA newsletter FestFlash 2/2014: While waiting for one’s festival

02 July 2014

Many festivals around Europe have already kicked off their 2014 editions; even more festivals are still to open their doors to their audiences. For those of you who are curiously waiting for their favourite festival to start, like our blogger Hasan Isikli from Izmir, we invite you to explore some festival issues together with EFA’s bloggers on Festival Bytes. Albert Edelman shares with us his vision of an ideal festival. Kathrin Deventer allows some insights into what happens when you invite composers for a real co-creation process during which their compositions are open for discussion and criticism. Ceyda Berk embarks on a journey from the 'Temple of Artemis' to 'A Rose for Lilly', looking at festival venues, from ancient buildings to a modern concert hall. Eva Nunes discusses the role of arts and culture in times of conflict. Jelle Dierickx dives into the cultural scene of a remarkable city, the city of Sarajevo. And Steve Austen talks about trends in the Dutch festival landscape. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: That old festival feeling

19 June 2014

The early music movement – that is: a way of looking at repertoire with an open and informed eye to the context of the work’s creation and reception, taking into account instruments, performance practice, among other things – really got going thanks to festivals. Bruges, Utrecht, Antwerp and Boston, to name but a few, have long operated as showcases for the latest research, the wildest experiments and, over time, the biggest names they themselves had helped grow. And this was long before music from the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and often even the Baroque became fashionable on ‘regular’ stages as it is now. Read the full blog by Albert Edelman on Festival Bytes. - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Beirut, 21-27 March 2015: apply now!

18 June 2014

Are you part of the next generation of artistic festival directors? Do you want to broaden your programming skills and be inspired by colleagues and experienced leaders in the field? Do you want to join a new network of future festival leaders worldwide? The Festival Academy’s 2015 Atelier for Young Festival Managers, initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), will take place from 21 to 27 March 2015 in Beirut, Lebanon, in collaboration with the Beiteddine Art Festival. Young festival managers from all over the world are invited to apply until 12 September 2014. In the vibrant Lebanese cultural city, some 10 renowned festival directors will guide 45 participants through the 7-day training programme. - more...

EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe launched, applications for EFFE Label open

11 June 2014

EFFE is a new international festival community in the making. Are you deeply committed to the arts? Do you interact with your local community? Do you feel that you are a European and a global actor? Do you want international recognition for what you do and would you like your peers and public to be better informed? EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe – is a gateway into Europe’s festivals specialised in everything cultural. It intends to broaden awareness of what’s going on in the festival world and to promote excellence and innovation. The first of EFFE’s initiatives is a quality label. This label is given to festivals with an artistic commitment, involvement in their local communities and a European and global outlook. All festivals in European Union countries can apply. Applications for the first two-year edition are open until 15 November 2014. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Waiting for one’s festival

06 June 2014

Festivals are people’s desires. Everybody awaits their festival for a whole year while the daily life continues with its regular sorrows, worries, happiness, anger and frequently apathy. When the festival starts it’s the time of Dionysos: the pleasure, folly, surprise and new sensations. For the sake of being respected in society this part of humans is usually repressed due to one’s cultural codes. Hence, one’s festival is the duration when the subjects reconnect to their social and physical environment by new discoveries and by multiplying their perception. Some people await a wedding of a relative so that they can see other members of the family and friends. Some people wait for a carnival where they enjoy themselves and get involved in a city’s tradition that transfers its values from old generations to the new ones. And other people wait for their art festivals of which they expect new surprises and discoveries each time. I am one of those waiting for an art festival: the International Izmir Festival, called İzmir Festivali by the locals. Read the full blog by Hasan Isikli on Festival Bytes. - more...

2014 Festival Readings to take place during Sibiu International Theatre Festival

03 June 2014

The 2014 Festival Readings will take place from 12 to 14 June in Sibiu, Romania (11:00-14:00; Astra Cinema Hall, Small Scuare, no 11) during the Sibiu International Theatre Festival. Hosted by the Sibiu Arts Market, the unique 3-day programme will consist of public lectures and debates and introduce participants to artistic festival management. An initiative of The Festival Academy and the European Festivals Association (EFA), the Festival Readings in 2014 will include Jan Simko (International Theatre Festival Divadelna Nitra), Marie-Agnès Sevestre (Les Francophonies en Limousin); Ada Paukstyte (Vilnius Festivals); Maria Szilagyi (Contemporary Drama Festival); Nelson Fernandez (NFA International Arts and Culture); and Hugo De Greef (General Coordinator of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers). - more...

Urban Nomads//Mongol Citizens: the fruits of an Atelier encounter

02 June 2014

The Festival Academy and the European Festivals Association (EFA) are delighted to see fruitful collaborations emerging from the Atelier for Young Festival Managers. Two Alumna of the Atelier – Corinna Bethge (Atelier IZMIR 2011) and Enkhzaya Jamsran (Atelier SINGAPORE 2011) met in 2011 in Ulaanbaatar; Enkhzaya was then working at the Arts Council of Mongolia (ACM). Today, three years later, ACM director Ariunaa Tserenpil collaborates in the festival project Urban Nomads//Mongol Citizens that Corinna first developed at the Atelier in Izmir in 2011. The upcoming Berlin edition of the festival is entitled “Crossing Identities - Beginners, Experts, Hybrids”. - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers POZNAN (20-27 October 2014): Deadline approaching!

27 May 2014

The next Atelier for Young Festival Managers will take place from 20-27 October 2014 in Poznan, Poland. To take part in the Atelier POZNAN 2014, The Festival Academy (initiative by the European Festivals Association) and the Malta Festival Poznan invite young festival managers from all over the world to apply until 30 May 2014! Festivals, cultural organisations, networks, foundations, universities etc. are invited to delegate a young festival manager to participate in the Atelier POZNAN 2014, and to spread the information broadly to their members, partners, contacts and interested people. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Culture and conflict: hope and optimism in times of darkness

23 May 2014

On 13 May 2014, the European Festivals Association (EFA) was delighted to welcome the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), and Sir Jonathan Mills, to what has become a tradition: to present the year’s festival programme in Belgium. As EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer stated, “it is a great opportunity for us to share the relevance of an artistic programme with the audience, artists, festival directors and policy makers." Read the full blog by Eva Nunes on Festival Bytes. - more...

EFA newsletter FestFlash 1/2014: Inside the Atelier for Young Festival Managers

20 May 2014

In this FestFlash, the European Festivals Association (EFA) gives you not only insights into the Atelier for Young Festival Managers and its incredible new network of festival managers from all over the world; what’s more, it provides some first-hand insights into festival making, as well as a series of questions festival makers ask themselves. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: From Festival of Fools to new trends in the festival landscape

15 May 2014

The past few months were rough for the Felix Meritis Foundation in Amsterdam. The Foundation went bankrupt in February this year due to a conflict of interest between the landlord and the Foundation. For quite a while there didn’t seem to be a clear future for the cultural house. After de Gemeente had bought the building for 5.3 million euros to take over the responsibilities from the owners of the building, a new foundation was established: Genootschap Felix Meritis / Felix Meritis Foundation will continue the activities and (international) projects of Felix Meritis. EFA is glad about these recent developments, and would like to share some insights into one of the last events with a focus on new trends in festivals. Read the full blog by Steve Austen, permanent fellow of Felix Meritis Foundation, on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Fluid identies

20 May 2014

At the beginning of April, I spent seven days as a participant in the European Festivals Association’s Atelier for Young Festival Managers. I was part of the cohort for the Edinburgh edition, hosted by the Edinburgh International Festival. The Atelier brought together 51 young festival managers from 28 countries and nine renowned festival directors from all over the world who were our mentors. I now join a group of 223 alumni from 56 countries. To spend an intensive seven days immersed in the world of festivals amongst peers from around the world was inspiring and rejuvenating. There’s something about taking yourself out of the day-to-day, to an unfamiliar place with people who don’t know each other that allows you to reflect and focus on issues, themes and ideas that are most important to you. Read the full blog by Joyce Rosario on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: A Collection of Collectors

13 May 2014

Drizzling rain greeted 51 slightly jet lagged young festival directors who had made their way from 28 countries to this beautiful, if somewhat grey city. Like most events like this, the first few hours are always like a slightly awkward speed-dating session, figuring out who is who and where everyone is from, but what followed was quite possibly the most intense seven days of thinking, sharing and learning I’ve experienced. In no chronological order below are some of the key learnings I took away from the mentors of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers EDINBURGH 2014 and some of the big questions discussed with fellow emerging festival directors. Read the full blog by Summa Durie on Festival Bytes. - more...

Brussels event celebrates Edinburgh International Festival’s role in Europe’s cultural landscape

12 May 2014

[MEDIA RELEASE; Brussels, 12 May 2014] Following the UK launches of the 2014 Edinburgh International Festival, the Festival’s Director Jonathan Mills takes part in a special event this Tuesday (13 May) in Belgium. At the event, which has been organised by the European Festivals Association, Mr Mills will discuss this year’s programme which brings together artists from around the world to explore the relationship between culture and conflict in the year of the centenary commemoration of the First World War. Festival 2014 presents theatre, dance and music that looks at the work of artists who in difficult and uncertain circumstances can transcend their surroundings to create work of great beauty and optimism. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Festival communications with a small team

07 May 2014

Some insights into ways to effectively utilise communications when it comes to promoting arts, classical and traditional music festivals with limited capacities. Attracting and engaging audiences is a key issue in the arts world. You need to appeal to completely new sectors and demographics but also communicate with your existing target groups. Looking around for know-how on how to achieve this, I have often been confronted with one problem: Many of the best practice examples and common knowledge out there are based on looking at how big players work. But how corporations use YouTube and Facebook or how the biggest and brand-advertisement-driven popular music festivals communicate with their audience does not apply to our work at Piranha Arts. Read the full blog by Paul Bräuer on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Being an alumnus of EFA’s Festival Academy

06 May 2014

In 2012 I participated in EFA’s Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Ljubljana. The wonderful 7-day meeting was at once a training, a networking event and a lab for developing new ideas. That experience has led me to the one I am writing about now. After 60 years of existence, EFA has extended its scope and founded The Festival Academy in 2013 – a global initiative for rethinking the role of festivals today and the future of festivals in culture. I was invited to take part in EFA’s “Sarajevo Conversations” (February 2014) – part of the annual meeting and general assembly, where over 100 delegates from leading festivals and cultural institutions in Europe met and discussed both practical and theoretical aspects of culture-making today. Read the full blog by Premshay Hermon on Festival Bytes. - more...

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