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Quote of the Week

Without any doubt at all, art and culture are incredibly influential and uplifting experiences in society. Festivals seem to succeed in generating a stimulating and collective joyous atmosphere among people. They are superb instruments in reaching the public psyche, introducing vision and ideas, communicating a sense of art and reflection on cultural matters.

Hugo De Greef

EFA News

New on Festival Bytes: What Pure Beauty – and: all our problems are no problems at all

21 April 2015

From 1975 to 1992 the Civil War was raging in Lebanon. The Beiteddine Art Festival was founded during these times (1984). A cry for normality. Beiteddine means “House of Faith” and in the beginning as well as again and again the whole festival was a cry for normality. Culture as a means to stay alive. To celebrate life. To be aware of its beauty. To celebrate the pure beauty of culture and nature. Even, and even more so, in the midst of war. During the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Beirut, we had the chance to be guests at the pure beauty of Beiteddine Palace.   Read the full blog by Carolin Hochleichter about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Re-imagining our future through art

17 April 2015

The first time I came to Beirut was exactly two years ago in March 2013 to prepare the Atelier for Young Festival Managers, which we postponed once due to the situation in the region and which could now happen in marvelous conditions. Organised under the umbrella of The Festival Academy (initiative of EFA) and hosted by the Beiteddine Art Festival, it was a truly unique experience, and I have heard many many many participants say that they are so happy they came to specifically this Atelier in Beirut. Read the full blog by Inge Ceustermans about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

The Festival Academy and Beiteddine Art Festival generate inspiration at Atelier BEIRUT 2015

16 April 2015

[PRESS RELEASE; Brussels, Belgium, 16 April 2015] The first Atelier for Young Festival Managers in the Arab world took place in Beirut, Lebanon, from 21 to 27 March 2015, and was hosted by the Beiteddine Art Festival. The 7-day training brought together 36 young festival managers from 21 countries, seven renowned festival directors from all over the world and multiple guest speakers from the region. Participants broadened their programming skills, and joined a network of now 300 Atelier Alumni from 63 countries. The Atelier is run by The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA). - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Welcome to Lebanon ovvero the poetry of an eternal present

10 April 2015

Empty spaces, nothingness, meaningless promises. That’s how everyday life can be. I’m staying afloat on a big, muddy and lost river that brings me I-don’t-know-where. That’s – very briefly described – the cultural fatigue I am experiencing: loss of motivation sitting in front of my super-efficient computer, in my wonderful city, on a perfect day. Read the full blog by Federico Rinaldi about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Transformed, inspired, rejuvenated

09 April 2015

This reflection on my experiences at the Atelier for Young Festival Managers was originally written for an audience of family, friends, and close colleagues – so, it is a personal story. I offer it as my contribution to the EFA Blog because I believe it demonstrates one of the great achievements of the Atelier: its ability to inspire and transform those involved. The reflections already posted by my colleagues tell me that this experience is true for them too – not surprising given the incredible seven days we shared. Read the full blog by Joshua Dalledonne about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: “You need people to make a dream happen”

08 April 2015

24 March 2015, Beirut. Today is the first day of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Beirut, I don’t feel like writing something, because I feel so full of impressions that I wouldn’t even know where to start. I’ll try anyways. We split up into groups this morning and went to see different cultural venues across town. It was so difficult to choose, but finally I went with the group to see Zico house and the Monot Theatre. Apart from my Atelier fellows, Zico was probably the most inspired, inspiring, funny and energetic person I have met throughout the Atelier. After the civil war, in the 90ies, Zico opened his living room for art exhibitions and performances. It soon became the meeting point for artists in Beirut. “Let’s go to Zikkos,” they said, and the production house was born. Zico is actually the technical director of the place. But he is also the soul. Read the full blog by Ana Zirner about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Reminiscences from the Atelier Beirut 2015

07 April 2015

Before leaving for Beirut for the Atelier for Young Festival Managers, after months of efforts on fundraising and preparations, I declared once that I have the feeling this would be a “journey of a lifetime”. I’m writing this with my heart beating stronger, randomly listening to Devendra Banhart, from Venice, a short stop on the way back from Beirut before heading back to Rovinj where I’ll finally feel the true essential impact of the Atelier experience, the place where the knowledge and inspiration gained in Lebanon should be gathered and applied. But before arriving on my final destination I can already say: yes, IT WAS a journey of a lifetime. Read the full blog by Tomas Kutinjač about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: A truly remarkable experience

03 April 2015

I was invited to share my experience at the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Beirut via a blog post. Accepting the invitation I have nurtured a telegraphic perception of the whole experience. Every day I found a different aspect to describe it. Each subsequent idea for the blog was better and truer than the previous. Each approach perfectly accurate and completely wrong at once, dwarfed by the vast parallel universe we were creating as a community of young festival managers. A group of 36 people. Read the full blog by Martin Kadinov about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Like one immense single breath

01 April 2015

22 March 2015, Beirut. After a truly wonderful opening of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Beirut last night, with inspiring speeches and great food, and an onward journey through the Bars of Hamra, stumbling into a Lebanese music concert at a bar and dancing with new friends not only from Lebanon and Syria, but also from Croatia, the UK, the Netherlands and Canada, today The Festival Academy’s Atelier working sessions started. Read the full blog by Ana Zirner about the Atelier in Beirut on Festival Bytes. - more...

EFA Board encourages festivals to join EFA

02 April 2015

On 29 March 2015 in Warsaw, Poland, the Board of the European Festivals Association (EFA) met to discuss the state of play of EFA’s work programme for 2015 and beyond. The EFA Board encourages festivals from Europe and beyond to become active members of the unique festival community EFA brings together. Applicant festivals will be approved by the EFA General Assembly which is to meet on 6 June in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The Board meeting took place at the invitation of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, one of the largest and most important music events in Poland and member of EFA since 2001. - more...

Tamás Klenjánszky - In Memoriam

31 March 2015

Tamás Klenjánszky, former Secretary General of the European Festivals Association, passed away last week at the age of 71. It is with great sadness that the European Festivals Association, its President Darko Brlek, its Board and all members have learned about Tamás’s passing away. His death leaves a gap for each of us who had the privilege of knowing him. With his relentless curiousness, his great conviction and belief in the need of arts and culture, and his inexhaustible energy, Tamás has contributed immensely to the development of the art and cultural sector in Europe. - more...

2015 EFA General Assembly to take place in Ostrava/Czech Republic 4-7 June

01 April 2015

The European Festivals Association (EFA) is holding its 2015 General Assembly from 4-7 June in Ostrava/Czech Republic. It will be hosted by the Janácek May International Music Festival. The General Assembly is the most important moment for EFA members and invited guests to come together, exchange, network, explore the grounds for future collaboration and discuss the state of play of the festival business. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Bend it like an Art Festival

20 March 2015

“I wanted a political festival and I got it,” said Olivier Py, devoted artist and the new director of the Festival d’Avignon, in an interview (Libération Newspaper, 4 July 2014, page 10) that I read just after I had arrived in Avignon last summer. Sometimes I go to Brussels. I always take a train and arrive at Brussels Central Station. The building, especially the main hall, is a nice example of Art Deco style: high ceilings with simplified geometrical forms. On the walls World War I is commemorated that is part of the city’s memory. On the opposite side you can find coffee shops and newspaper stores. During day time, the place is filled with a crowd of tourists mixed with locals rushing to school, work or home. Last time I arrived at the station the chaotic atmosphere was different. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: What I Heard About The (Arts) World*

12 March 2015

On 21 January I had the pleasure of seeing again the piece that inspired the name of this series. What I Heard About The World was presented in Brussels, and I could share with friends, and other audience members who enjoyed a sold out performance, the work of mala voadora and Third Angel. It warms my heart every time I see a full venue, to see that audiences are still eager to see a good performance, to take the risk of the unknown, even on a dark, freezing evening when the warmth of our own home might feel quite appealing. So to start the year on an uplifting note: there are still things we hear about the (arts) world which are not dark and despairing and that’s what we have to strive to protect and spread. - more...

Focus on Festivals: new publication explores festivals’ implications for wider industry and society

10 March 2015

A new publication entitled “Focus on Festivals” was launched on 27 February 2015 in Leicester, UK. The publication looks at understanding the causes and implications of the current growth in festivals internationally, and the implications for the wider industry and society. The book is the result of the work of the European Festival Research Project (EFRP), an initiative EFA has been supporting for many years. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: This Is About You And Me

05 March 2015

How to fall in love? More difficult: How to stay in love? These days, we tend to not be interested in the continuous, we tend to be bored by repetition, even when just apparent, of something – or someone’s personality – already known. Even when that known is of the order of the strange, of the unknown. Paradoxical, yes. It is like this in life as it is in dance. Our bodies, mind and feelings crave for acquiring something new at all times… - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Sustainability: thoughts from the Atelier for Young Festival Managers Poznań

26 February 2015

Sustainability is an ongoing experiment, one that is usually met, in my experience, with an effort of solution-based, open and creative thinking. In this light, the question across independent and community arts sectors remains, how can we create a festival, event or project that can be maintained while it is relevant? I suppose this brings up two points, so let’s consider ‘relevance’ another time and assume the project we are discussing is relevant and has appropriate context both in its artistic form and the place it is presented. Read the full blog by Melissa Edwards on Festival Bytes. - more...

EFA continues collaboration with Classical:NEXT 2015

10 February 2015

Classical:NEXT – the world’s leading expo for classical and contemporary music – has just published the first programme details for this year’s edition of Classical:NEXT (20-23 May 2015) in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The European Festivals Association (EFA) is proud to announce that all EFA members are as of now entitled to a special discounted network rate. The meeting is taking place at the same time as the Rotterdam Operadagen, reduced tickets available for Classical:NEXT delegates. - more...

EFA and festival leaders discuss joint agenda with European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics

10 December 2014

On 9 December 2014, the European Festivals Association invited festival leaders for a round table with EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Mr. Tibor Navracsics, led by Mr. Darko Brlek (EFA President) and Kathrin Deventer (Secretary General) in the presence of Ms. Adrienn Kiraly (Deputy Head of Mr. Navracsics’ Cabinet), Mr. Karel Bartak (Head of EAC. E. 2 Creative Europe Programme – Culture) and Ms. Corinne Rigaud (Programme Manager Culture Programme – EU Policies) to set the agenda of work between the European Commission and festivals in the field of arts and culture for the next 5 years. - more...

Deadline extended for Atelier in Gwangju 2015: Apply by 16 February

10 February 2015

The Festival Academy is delighted to announce that the application deadline has been extended for the Atelier for Young Festival Managers Gwangju 2015 to give more young festival managers the opportunity to apply. Young festival managers from all over the world are invited to apply until 16 February 2015. The Atelier will take place from 31 September to 6 September 2015 in Gwangju, South Korea, in collaboration with the Chonnam National University and the Asian Arts Theatre (Asian Culture Complex). - more...

EFFE Festival Label Application Deadline Extended

15 November 2014

EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, would like to thank all of the festivals that applied for the EFFE Festival Label. Over 2,500 festivals have registered and many have applied from all over Europe. We are looking forward to reading all of your thoughts on how festivals can be committed to the arts, involved in their local communities and have a European and global outlook. - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers POZNAN 2014 inspired the next generation of festival leaders

28 October 2014

[PRESS RELEASE - Brussels, Belgium, 28 October 2014] The Festival Academy’s latest edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers, the training programme initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), concluded in Poznan, Poland on 26 October 2014. Hosted by the Malta Festival Poznan, it brought together 41 young festival managers from 23 countries. They joined the ever growing network of today 264 Alumni from 60 countries. The 7 days were full of thought-provoking exchanges and established sustainable ties for the future. The next opportunity for young festival leaders worldwide to participate in the Atelier is in Beirut in March 2015. - more...

Mark Ball opened Atelier for Young Festival Managers POZNAN 2014

21 October 2014

Yesterday, on 20 October 2014, the Atelier for Young Festival Managers POZNAN 2014 of The Festival Academy kicked off at the Zamek Culture Centre. The ceremony was opened by Marcin Kostaszuk, Vice-Director of Culture and Heritage Department of the city of Poznan, Karol Działoszyński, Chairman Malta Foundation Board and, Anna Hryniewiecka, Director Zamek Culture Center. - more...

Mark Ball to open Atelier for Young Festival Managers POZNAN 2014

13 October 2014

[PRESS RELEASE; Brussels, Belgium] The Festival Academy’s next Atelier for Young Festival Managers, the training programme initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), will take place in Poznan, Poland 20-27 October 2014. It will be hosted by the Malta Festival Poznan. Seven renowned festival directors from all over the world will participate to share their experiences and visions with 41 young festival managers from 23 countries. Public events include the official opening ceremony on 20 October with a key-note speech by Mark Ball, Artistic Director London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) and the closing session on 26 October with Robyn Archer, Artistic Director The Light in Winter Melbourne. - more...

Mark Ball: “A driving passion has been audience development and engagement”

07 October 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Poznan from 20-27 0ctober 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 41 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Mark Ball, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT). He previously participated in the Atelier EDINBURGH 2014 - more...

Robyn Archer: “We are all participants“

03 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 Robyn Archer, she has shared her remarkable experience and given advice to participants in the Ateliers for Young Festival Managers in VARNA 2009, SINGAPORE 2011, IZMIR 2011, LJUBLJANA 2012 and will now participate, for the fifth time, in POZNAN. Robyn Archer is a many-sided leader: singer, writer, artistic director and public advocate of the arts. - more...

FestFlash 4/2014: Thinking of Community

03 October 2014

In her latest blog post, Claudia Galhos wonders: “What is a festival? The question is as relevant nowadays as is questioning the trend of making art with or for the community. Sometimes the two directions come together: festivals that include the community and which are made thinking of involving the community.” 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 if you have a story of your own to tell! - more...

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, 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...

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