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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

News & Media

This news section is the place to find the latest news and press releases both from EFA and its members. Remember to come back frequently to find the updates here!

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...

Worldwide Reading Commemorating the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide on 21 April

14 April 2015

The international literature festival berlin (ilb) and the Lepsiushaus Potsdam are calling for a worldwide reading on 21 April 2015 - the day that marks 100 years since the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. Several hundred Armenian intellectuals – poets, musicians, parliamentary representatives and members of the clergy – were arrested in Constantinople (today Istanbul) on 24 April 1915, and deported to the Turkish interior where most of them were murdered. It was the start of a crime against humanity. The extermination of the Armenians during World War One was the first systematically planned and executed genocide of modern times. More than a million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire died during this genocidal campaign. - more...

Apply now for Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre’s Georgian Showcase 2015

13 April 2015

In 2009, the TBILISI INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF THEATRE introduced Georgian Showcase as one of the central programmes of the Festival with the aim to promote Georgian theatre and its integration within the global cultural network. Georgian Showcase is one of the most important platforms in Georgia’s theatre landscape for international exchange. It is an opportunity for Georgian companies and artists to build new relationships, create co-productions, tour and exchange artists, while for international guests it means a discovery of new possibilities for their future programming plans. The deadline for applications for the 2015 Showcase, taking place 5-8 October, is 15 July. - 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...

Yerevan Perspectives Festival launched Festival Academy in Byurakan, Armenia

10 April 2015

The Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival launched its Festival Academy in Byurakan on 3 April 2015. World famous pianist Evgeny Kissin, whose recital opened the 16th edition of the festival at the State Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet one day earlier, became the first musician who played on the new Shigeru Kawai Grand piano of the Academy, which was purchased thanks to a generous donation from Evgeny Kissin and "Pyunik" Foundation. - 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...

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...

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...

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...

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 National Arts Festival keeps it sharp and fresh

30 March 2015

Satire and freedom of expression will seize centre stage at this year’s National Arts Festival, which runs from Thursday 2 July to Sunday 12 July in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. Responding to social and political debates currently raging in South Africa, the Festival organisers have chosen to highlight the genre of satire in place of the usual “featured artist” category. “In taking a strong advocacy and agitating angle, this year’s programme not only honours South Africa’s constitutional right to free speech, but also creates opportunities for South Africans to do what they do best – engage passionately and honestly about life in our country,” explains Ismail Mahomed, the Festival’s Artistic Director. - more...

HONORIFICABILITUDINITAS: Highlights of Music Biennale Zagreb 2015

27 March 2015

HONORIFICABILITUDINITAS, the Latin word chosen as the motto of the 28th Music Biennale Zagreb (MBZ) translates into: the state of being able to achieve and receive honour. The honour will be achieved and received by all the participants, composers, musicians, artists, audience and music alike. Over just eight days (18-25 April 2015), the 28th MBZ offers 40 concerts, performances and installations of all shapes and sizes in ten formal performance venues, but we will also flood the streets of Zagreb with street performances with around 700 performers in total. Three symphony orchestras and 11 chamber ensembles are participating. MBZ is preparing four contemporary dance shows and a world premiere of a long lost, but recently discovered opera by the great Croatian composer Boris Papandopulo. Out of some 150 compositions on the programme, 20 of them were commissioned especially for this occasion and will be premiered at the festival. - more...

Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival brings concert to Brussels

26 March 2015

A special concert commemorating the centennial of the Armenian Genocide will take place on 26 April in Bozar, Brussels. The concert under the title “With you, Armenia” brings together the greatest musicians of our time, performing a classical and contemporary music programme: Sergei Nakariakov, Mischa Maisky and Maxim Vengerov will play together with the National Orchestra of Belgium under the baton of Maestro George Pehlivanian. - 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...

International Music Festival Janáček May celebrates 40th jubilee

19 March 2015

From 24 May to 8 June 2015 the International Music Festival Janáček May will celebrate its 40th jubilee. The roots of the festival, though, date back much further: previously organised under the name Ostrava Music Spring, the festival looks back on a total history of 65 years. Continuing in its tradition, the festival will present soloists, such as Rafal Blechacz, Soňa Červená, Jiří Bárta, Adam Plachetka, Jonas Vitaud, Paul Lewis, prominent local and foreign orchestras, including Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Czech Radio Symphonic Orchestra, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, and chamber ensembles, such as Bennewitz Quartet or the Wroclaw Baroque Ensemble. - 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...

Darko Brlek about being a festival manager, artist, and cultural network president

11 March 2015

In 1992, Darko Brlek became the youngest artistic director of the Ljubljana Festival, taking over as executive director of the country's most important cultural festival in 1995. He became Vice President of the European Festivals Association (EFA) in 1997 and has served as EFA’s President since 2005. What’s more, Darko Brlek is a renowned concert clarinettist, regularly performing on stages around the world. In this interview for “The Slovenia Book” (released in 2015) he speaks about the parallels of managing a major festival and making music, and why international collaboration is crucial. - 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...

Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival: 19 Concerts for 19 Years

09 March 2015

Outstanding conductors, excellent soloists, great orchestras from Europe and the world; a programme featuring not only well-known classics but also musical discoveries and premieres – 22 March will see the inauguration of the 19th Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, one of the largest and most important music events in Poland. - 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...

International Winter Arts Festival brings diverse artistic programme to Sochi

16 February 2015

The eighth International Winter Arts Festival in Sochi in 2015, the first “post-Olympic” festival, is in no way inferior to its predecessors in terms of programme scale and diversity. The ten days of the festival (13-22 February 2015) include ten events at the Winter Theater and seven concerts at the Philharmonic Organ Hall, along with master-class workshops focusing on academic, jazz, and folk instruments, academic vocal music, and classical ballet. - 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...

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...

2015 Abu Dhabi Festival will run from 3 March to 2 April

04 February 2015

The Abu Dhabi Festival (ADF), organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), will hold its 12th edition from 3 March to 2 April. Affirming its position as one of the Middle East’s leading cultural festivals, ADF 2015 will welcome main programme performances by Brazilian music legend Sérgio Mendes; maestro Riccardo Muti conducting violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter and the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra; the acclaimed Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez; pianists Jan Lisiecki and Leif Ove Andsnes; the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Iván Fischer; two performances of a concert staging of Mozart's TheMagic Flute; and the Lebanese American singer Mayssa Karaa making her international debut. - more...

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