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EFA News

The Festival Academy launches new Festival Production Management Training: Apply now!

24 June 2015

The Festival Production Management Training is a new format of The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA). It focuses especially on production management in terms of realising and implementing the vision of the artistic director. The training looks at the practical side of this process, with special attention given to working with artists. Participants will meet and exchange with experienced production managers and artists, including set designers, light designers, conductors, choir leaders etc. The training is set up as a long-term programme which explores all phases of producing an artistic work: a programme with 3 modules spread over a period of one or more year(s). - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Lebanon: The difficulties of being a social megaphone

11 June 2015

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers is a 7-day training programme run by The Festival Academy, initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA). Targeting young festival managers from all around the world, it aims to introduce its participants to a new culture, and make them discover the local conditions of festivals and cultural institutions. Lebanon, which hosted the Atelier BEIRUT 2015, was a peculiar country in this context as its festivals always have to cope with the country’s instability. Read the full blog by Ysaline Lannoy on Festival Bytes. - more...

International festival directors met in Ostrava for the 2015 EFA General Assembly

10 June 2015

From 4 to 7 June 2015, the General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) took place in Ostrava, Czech Republic. It was hosted by the International Music Festival “Janáček May”, which celebrates its 40th jubilee in 2015. Some 100 festival directors representing more than 50 festivals in 26 countries attended the annual EFA gathering to exchange, network, and explore the grounds for future collaboration. EFA and the Janáček May Festival took this moment as an opportunity to underline the importance of international cooperation for the impact of culture at the local level. - more...

EFA General Assembly kicks off tonight in Ostrava

04 June 2015

Tonight, the General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) will kick off in Ostrava, Czech Republic. It is hosted by the International Music Festival “Janáček May”, which celebrates its 40th jubilee in 2015. Until Sunday, 7 June some 100 festival directors representing 51 festivals in 26 countries will exchange, network, and explore the grounds for future collaboration. EFA and the International Music Festival “Janáček May” take this moment as an opportunity to underline the importance of international cooperation for the impact of cultural organisation at local level. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: From the Atelier in Edinburgh to EFA’s General Assembly in Ostrava

03 June 2015

The European Festivals Association (EFA) has been here for over 60 years. It would seem that the network uniting and collaborating with directors of various festivals, arts managers, artists, political representatives, providing them with the opportunity for regular meetings, exchange of experiences, joint problem solving, and generally highlighting the importance of arts and culture in everyday life would be well-known to everybody who is at least a bit involved in the field of arts management. Personally, I heard about the activities of this association for the first time when I attended the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh in 2014. I must admit that when I departed for Scotland last year in the beginning of April, I did not know what to expect from the actual meeting or from EFA. But I had a full week ahead of me; the week which in an unbelievable way enriched my professional life and, as I hope, my future career path. Read the full blog by  Ondřej Sikora on Festival Bytes. - more...

EFFE presented at the European Parliament

27 April 2015

On 16 April, EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer and Hugo De Greef (EFFE Co-Directors) presented EFFE - Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe and its current results in the European Parliament during the meeting of the Committee on Culture and Education, chaired by Silvia Costa. Members of the European Parliament were convinced about the importance of this pilot project and, as Silvia Costa underlined, “of the importance of sharing knowledge and a network among the festivals and its audience.” - more...

EFFE’s International Festival Jury: looking at ambitions, challenges, and criteria

18 May 2015

On an unusually sunny day in Brussels, a group of international experts, with expertise from Aachen to Zagreb via New York met to discuss the Festival Award for Excellence, a selection of prizes which will honour Europe's agenda-setting festivals. These experts form EFFE’s International Festival Jury. "An important part of the international jury is to set the tone, to set the benchmarks," said Chairman Vincent Baudriller, Director of Lausanne's Théatre Vidy. "The award is a way to shed light on a few festivals." - more...

Europe’s finest festivals honoured with EFFE Label 2015-2016

20 May 2015

EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe announced the festivals receiving the EFFE Label 2015-2016, honouring Europe’s finest festivals. Following a process of intense evaluation by national experts and an international jury, 761 festivals from 31 countries have been selected to be part of the first generation of EFFE Label recipients. All EFFE Label festivals can be accessed on the EFFE website. A comprehensive online Guide to the selected festivals will be available in early summer. - more...

Apply Now: Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Budapest, Hungary, 2-8 June 2016

19 May 2015

The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), is delighted to open the call for application for the Atelier for Young Festival Managers to take place from 2 to 8 June 2016 in Budapest, Hungary, in collaboration with the Armel Opera Festival. Ten renowned festival directors will guide 45 participants through the 7-day training programme. Young festival managers from all over the world are invited to apply until 30 June 2015. - more...

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...

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