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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!

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...

Ljubljana Festival 2015: At the heart of your summer experience

22 June 2015

The Slovenian capital is gearing up for a long, hot and colourful summer, jam packed with cultural events. The 63rd Ljubljana Festival – the oldest and most important festival in the region – will be the longest ever. In a period of just over three months, the festival will host numerous renowned Slovenian and foreign artists from the spheres of music, opera, dance, musicals, theatre and art. The Ljubljana Festival's official inauguration will be held on 28 June at Kongresni Trg (Congress Square), a beautiful place surrounded by historic buildings and Park Zvezda (Star Park) which offers a spectacular view of Ljubljanski Grad (the Ljubljana Castle). The opening event will be a musical and visual spectacle conducted by the Academy Award winning Chinese conductor, Tan Dun. However, as a prelude to the summer festival, the Ljubljana Festival hosted one of the most successful musicals of all time – Mamma Mia! – from 15 to 19 June. - more...

Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi to perform at European Cultural Awards in Dresden

19 June 2015

[BYP and Kristjan Järvi awarded European Culture Prize - 2015 Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic in concert with world-renowned stars of classical music Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and many more] Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic (BYP) will perform at the gala ceremony of the European Cultural Awards 2015 on Friday 2 October at Dresden’s Frauenkirche. Under the baton of Kristjan Järvi, BYP Founding Conductor and Music Director, the finest musicians from all countries surrounding the Baltic Sea will celebrate and perform together with international renowned soloists and ensembles. Alongside and with the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic the audience will experience tenor Jonas Kaufmann, soprano Angela Gheorghiu, cellist Maximilian Hornung and organist Samuel Kummer. On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the German reunification, the gala ceremony will also bring together on stage as former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, world-famous conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, German a capella group Die Prinzen or former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González. - 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...

Sibelius, Tango and Kalevala: 22nd Usedom Music Festival shines the spotlight on Finland

05 June 2015

“Fascinating Finland: Sibelius, Tango and Kalevala”: from 19 September to 10 October, the 22nd Usedom Music Festival will allow audiences to discover the musical culture of Finland. Some 30 concerts held on the island of Usedom will explore the nation’s passion for tango, devote themselves to that great Fin, Jean Sibelius, who is the central theme of the event, and take a musical excursion through the Finnish national epic, “Kalevala”. “This year, our main objective is to get the audience excited about the fascinatingly rich music culture of Finland. Finland may be a small country by population, but it is a major power musically and will make the bi-national island of Usedom resound for three musical weeks with international stars”, says artistic director Thomas Hummel enthusiastically. At some 20 locations, visitors will get to experience a broad spectrum of Finnish music, from chamber music and folklore to the sounds of tango and great symphonies, played by internationally renowned ensembles and solo artists. - 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...

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...

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...

“With you, Armenia”: Yerevan Perspectives Festival brings concert to New York

08 May 2015

The Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival presents the next concert of “With you, Armenia” in New York, Carnegie Hall on 26 May 2015. The concert unites world famous pianist Evgeny Kissin and “Hover” chamber choir with its artistic director and choir master Sona Hovhannisyan. The programme contains works of Komitas, Azizyan, Sharafyan, Britten, Mansurian, Babajanyan, Pendercki and Chopin. Furthermore, it will feature the world premiere of Penderecki's choral work dedicated to the Armenian Genocide. - more...

Made in Turkey

30 April 2015

The 14th Mersin International Music Festival runs from 30 April to 24 May. The event will host many artists and orchestras from Turkey and the world. The opening concert will be given by the Mersin Festival Orchestra, which was formed this year. The orchestra will perform Fazıl Say’s “Istanbul Symphony” under the baton of conductor İbrahim Yazıcı. - 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...

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...

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