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“There can be no dialogue without words, but there will be no meaningful intercultural dialogue if we do not move from words to action”

Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

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!

Yerevan Perspectives Festival’s autumn season and concerts around the world to conclude next month

07 October 2015

The Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival launched its autumn season with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, led by the music director and conductor Zubin Mehta, on 3 September in Yerevan. The concert had a huge success and has become one of the highlights of the festival season. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Rethinking our responsibility towards society

01 October 2015

Looking back at the week of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Gwangju, I have to say that it was a truly unique experience. The Atelier took place in the context of the opening of the Asia Culture Centre and its first festival; on the historic site where the democratic uprising in South Korea took place in 1980. It allowed us to understand the context of cultural and artistic activities in South Korea. Read the full blog by Inge Ceustermans,Managing Director The Festival Academy, on Festival Bytes.  - more...

New on Festival Bytes: What I Heard About The (Arts) World* 05

29 September 2015

"I heard that Europe was moving and shaking with festival life these last months! I heard of a wonderful festival in the Natural Park of Cabo de Gata and took the opportunity to go spend some quality time there. I also heard that our EFA members have been making the summer months exciting, so here are a couple of things I didn’t see but would have liked to. As they say: so many festivals, so little time." The fifth edition of Eva Nunes' "What I Heard About The (Arts) World" features world premieres, collaborations, and new productions of festivals, including Reykjavik Arts Festival, George Enescu Festival, Lucerne Festival, Berliner Festspiele’s JazzFest, Brno International Music Festival, MITO Settembre Musica, Tbilisi International Theatre Festival, Gent Festival of Flanders, and Costa Contemporánea Festival. Read the full blog on Festival Bytes. - more...

EFFE Awards for Top 12 Festivals in Europe Announced

28 September 2015

250 festival representatives from across Europe gathered in Paris on 27 September for the announcement of the first ever EFFE Awards. An International Jury, presided over by Vincent Baudriller, Director of Théâtre Vidy in Lausanne, rewarded 12 of the most trend-setting European festivals of this year from a pool of 760 festivals from 31 countries. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Experiencing movement in Spain

25 September 2015

For many the perfect summer holiday involves soaking up on vitamin D on a relaxing spot with nothing to do but enjoy a good rest in good company. Imagine when you can top that by adding to the warm sun and calm sea the chance to soak up on vitamins T and G (and I don’t mean Torulitine and Riboflavin nor Tequila and Gin!). And that’s precisely how I spent my holiday, soaking up on (T)alent and (G)enerosity! Talent of creators like Guillermo Weickert, La Macana, María Muñoz (Mal Pelo), Elías Aguirre or pianist Alejandro Rojas Marcos. Generosity of a very engaged team, led by Nerea Aguilar, director of Costa Contemporánea, who, for the 6th year, ensures the professionalism and quality of a festival which creates a community filled with life in this far corner of Spain with very little means but a lot of heart! Read the full blog by Eva Nunes on Festival Bytes.   - more...

Gwangju Atelier for Young Festival Managers confirms success of The Festival Academy

24 September 2015

[PRESS RELEASE - Brussels, 24 September 2015] The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), continues extending its offer for training in festival management. Since its launch in 2013, new education formats have been initiated based on the success of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers. The Atelier was developed into a regular training for artistic festival directors with two editions per year. As of 2016, The Festival Academy will add a course for production managers to its programme. The most recent Atelier in Gwangju, South Korea, confirmed the success and necessity of providing training opportunities for early career professionals and to collaborate across continents. Participants joined the ever-growing Alumni Network counting currently 335 future festival leaders from 65 countries. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Back to reality

23 September 2015

A week after the Atelier for Young Festival Managers and I am still getting over the 12 extraordinary days in South Korea, 11 of which in Gwangju the ‘cradle of the Korean democratic movement’ and home to the newly built Asia Cultural Centre. What a great trip, I learnt a lot, extended my networks and experienced a culture I knew very little about. It is easy to be absolutely ecstatic and eulogise about all of the amazing people and the experience, this was inevitable, I guess! Read the full blog by Abduk Shayek, one of 35 participants of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Gwangju, on Festival Bytes. - more... puts 760 festivals at your fingertips

23 September 2015 is launched today as the most comprehensive guide to festivals in Europe. In Europe the arts are just a festival away, and this new website brings information on 760 of Europe’s best festivals to audiences across the continent and beyond. These festivals, recipients of EFFE’s quality label, come from 31 countries and range from the big and famous to the quirky. The website is live now at, giving audiences far and wide access to these amazing cultural events. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: What you should know about Tel-Aviv’s festival scene

22 September 2015

September marks the end of summer and beginning of autumn events in Israel. Temperatures slowly decline beneath 30°C and the holiday season is in full swing. Around the country people pack their children and travel near and far to one (or more) of the many festivals flooding the countryside, ranging from folklore carnivals and traditional crafts happenings to fringe theatre and sacred music festivals. One might expect the biggest and boldest festivals to take place in Tel-Aviv, the vibrant capital of culture and creativity in Israel and a popular tourist destination, thanks to its long beaches and sparkly atmosphere. Is this really the case? Let’s go on a tour of the Tel-Aviv festivals scene and find out. Read the full blog by Premshay Hermon on Festival Bytes.  - more...

International Peace Center Sarajevo: Solidarity with Refugees, Non-violence, Dialogue and Peace

21 September 2015

On the occasion of the current refugee crisis on a global scale and the International Day of Peace (21 September 2015), which is held this year on the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the United Nations, the International Peace Center Sarajevo is sending an appeal to show solidarity with refugees, non-violence, dialogue and peace. - more...

EFA's FestFlash (September 2015): Summer of Festivals

18 September 2015

At the end of September, the European Festivals Association will for the first time unite a new community of festivals through its initiatives EFFE - Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe. On 27 September, the EFFE Award Ceremony and EFFE Community Launch will celebrate the first edition of EFFE Labels and Awards. Only days before, we would like to draw your attention to another selection of festivals: the festivals experienced by our Festival Bytes bloggers this summer. This FestFlash brings you to the UK, Finland, Poland, Portugal, and Lebanon. Enjoy the journey, and read EFA's newsletter FestFlash! - more...

New on Festival Bytes: After the Atelier: how questions can lead to actions

17 September 2015

Simone Truong, Artistic Director Festival TanzPlan Ost, and Grey Yeoh, independent creative producer and current Head of Arts at the British Council in Malaysia, both participants of the Gwangju Atelier, addressed their colleagues and mentors during the closing ceremony at ACC (6 September 2015) to sum up the intensive week on behalf of the 35 participants: "The week of the Atelier saw the coming together of 35 colleagues of our generation and 7 experienced mentors, with different backgrounds, interests and visions but they, no, we, all share one thing: THE DESIRE TO CREATE AND TO RUN A DAMN GOOD FESTIVAL." Read the full text on Festival Bytes. - more...

Gwangju Atelier: “We all leave determined to act”

16 September 2015

The second Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Asia took place successfully in Gwangju, South Korea from 31 August to 6 September. Hosted by the Chonnam National University and the Asia Culture Center, the Atelier GWANGJU 2015 gathered 35 young festival managers from 20 countries and four continents, as well as seven renowned festival directors from across the globe. They are now part of The Festival Academy’s ever-growing Alumni Network, counting 335 alumni and 40 mentors and presenters, which will help them in their future collaborations and work. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Fringe Benefits

14 September 2015

In an age of rapid changes to our habits of cultural consumption – an age in which so much of that culture is now semi-intangible, located in the virtual library that is ‘the Cloud’ – there is something reassuringly old-school about attending the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. My first Fringe experience was as a teenager, almost 20 years ago. Since then, the festival has grown to extraordinary proportions – it is now the largest in the world, issuing 2,298,090 tickets for 50,459 performances of 3,314 shows across 313 venues this August alone. Such scale stands in stark contrast, of course, to its original role as a ‘fringe’ event to the Edinburgh International Festival, which it now dwarfs. Yet despite its enormity, in many ways I often feel as if nothing much has changed since my first Fringe two decades ago... Read the full blog by Ben Schofield on Festival Bytes.  - more...

Bulgarian Festivals Association launches festival calendar

11 September 2015

The Bulgarian Festivals Association (BFA) launched a new festival calendar for Bulgaria. The first edition of the calendar is focused on the capital city – Sofia. The project is accomplished with the financial support of Sofia municipality’s programme Europe 2015 and is developed in a collaboration with CIOFF – Bulgaria. The main aim is to involve a maximum number of festivals to feature in the calendar, to optimise their information and to increase the visibility of the festivals and their accompanying events. A massive information campaign was done for the purpose. As a result over 30 festivals joined the calendar, completing an online survey. The gathered structured information can be found on the BFA website. - more...

Long live Wratislavia

10 September 2015

For half a century the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans has been the most important festival of classical music in this part of Europe. Decades ago it was the only opportunity to meet world-class artist coming from the West to a country behind the iron curtain. Nowadays outstanding conductors, instrumentalists and singers come to Wrocław to work on their joint projects with the ensembles of the National Forum of Music, the festival’s host. For the first time ever in Wratislavia’s history the audience and the musicians can share the state-of-the art concert hall of the National Forum of Music enabling the beauty of vocal and instrumental works shine in the full splendour. We invite you to celebrate music from 6 to 19 September. Long live Wratislavia! - more...

New on Festival Bytes: We were very hungry

08 September 2015

I’m stealing the words from one of the participants of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers GWANGJU, Josh McNorton from the UK. “We were very hungry,” his voice boomed across the room during a plenary session. Josh used the sentence to describe his team’s feeling the night before, while they prepared to discuss a given topic over dinner during the first day. All 35 participants of the #AtelierGWANGJU from 20 countries were divided up into six groups, and each group was given a topic to talk about. Read the full blog by Grey Yeoh, one of 35 participants of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Gwangju, on Festival Bytes. - more...

Enescu Festival enters a new stage of international development

04 September 2015

[PRESS RELEASE, Bucharest, Romania, 2 September 2015] Maestro Zubin Mehta announced in a press statement that he has accepted the invitation to be the Honorary President of the George Enescu International Festival for the 2017 edition. The invitation was made by the organisers based on a mutually agreed decision made at inter-institutional level. Maestro Zubin Mehta said: “I look forward to returning to Romania; you have the most beautiful Festival in the world and the most wonderful audience. Each musician feels so good here when they look towards the audience and sees the people’s smiles. The Romanian musicians are quality musicians and we have to thank the Festival organisers. I have accepted this proposal because it is an offer I could not refuse.” - more...

Space for beautiful experiences: National Forum of Music to open on 4 September in Wrocław

03 September 2015

The National Forum of Music in Wroclaw is the most significant cultural development in Poland and the centre of music performance in Wroclaw. Acting also as the home of 11 ensembles and numerous festivals, including the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans, this complex symbolises and celebrates the historic and ongoing importance of music performance in the city. For both residents and visitors, this facility offers an exciting platform to experience music at its best. The venue will open on 4 September. - more...

Apply until 30 September for new Festival Production Management Training

02 September 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). Application deadline: 30 September 2015. - more...

Atelier in Gwangju kicked off: “The Atelier is about sharing ideas, knowledge, dreams”

01 September 2015

On 31 August 2015 in Gwangju, South Korea at the Convention Hall of the Chonnam National University, the Atelier for Young Festival Managers of The Festival Academy (initiative of the European Festivals Association) kicked off. The opening ceremony was hosted by Professor InSul Kim. Jee Byung-moon, President of the Chonnam National University (CNU), and Jongman Choi, President of the Institute of Asian Culture Development, welcomed the 35 participants from 20 countries and 7 mentors to the second Atelier in Asia. Inge Ceustermans, Managing Director of The Festival Academy, introduced the Atelier, and Hugo De Greef set the tone for the discussions during the seven days to come based on his experience as General Coordinator of The Festival Academy and Mentor of the Atelier. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: The hidden music theatre boom in Finland

31 August 2015

“How well do we really know ourselves? How confident can we be in predicting what we would or would not do in novel situations that we have never encountered? Could we like God’s favorite angel, Lucifer, ever be led into the temptation to do the unthinkable to others?” Philip Zimbardo raises these questions in the foreword of his book entitled The Lucifer Effect. As the leading professor of The Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the much-debated and shocking researches of contemporary psychology, Zimbardo is undoubtedly not alone with his thoughts. We all are curious to know… What if I told you a murder that took place in Finland in 1881? A tragic story about Arndt Hofström, respected priest, murdered with a mallet by his brother Oskar Hofström, who was also a priest. Oskar, who acclaimed his act meant to bless his brother, remained calm at the trial and was sure that God was pleased. His blood-curling story stayed as a mystery among pages of history. The secret motivation arising from his religious vision were unveiled. Today, a century later, it became a fundamental inspiration for Autuus (Bliss) – an interesting and strong music theatre work, world premiered at the Helsinki Festival. Read the full blog by Ceyda Söderblom on Festival Bytes. - more...

Atelier goes to Gwangju, public invited to opening and closing sessions

27 August 2015

The 9th edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers will start next Monday, 31 August in the vibrant city of Gwangju, South Korea. The training programme of The Festival Academy is organised in cooperation with the Chonnam National University and the Asia Culture Center, which will be opened with a festival on 4 September. 36 participants from 20 countries will meet for the first time during the public opening ceremony at Chonnam National University, which will kick off 7 days of exchanges, networking and discovering cultural Gwangju. The public is invited to the opening and closing sessions. - more...

Inge Ceustermans on The Festival Academy, its goals, and ambition for the future

25 August 2015

The European Festivals Association plays a key role in developing the festival managers of tomorrow. The success of its Atelier for Young Festival Managers programme led to the foundation of The Festival Academy in 2013, offering various training formats and networking opportunities to young, dynamic and passionate festival makers worldwide. Managing director Inge Ceustermans told Mark Powell from the International Arts Manager more about its work. - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Budapest - Apply by 15 September 2015!

25 August 2015

The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), is calling for applications 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 15 September 2015. - more...

Second Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Asia to kick off 31 August in Gwangju

18 August 2015

[PRESS RELEASE - Brussels, Belgium/Gwangju, South Korea, 18 August 2015] The next Atelier for Young Festival Managers, an international training programme run by The Festival Academy and initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), will take place in Gwangju, South Korea, from 31 August to 6 September. Hosted by Chonnam National University and Asia Culture Center, the Atelier GWANGJU 2015 will gather 35 young festival managers from 20 countries. During the Atelier participants broaden their programming skills, join a network of future festival leaders worldwide, and are inspired by seven renowned festival directors from all over the world who share their experiences. A public opening session will kick off the Atelier GWANGJU 2015 on 31 August at Chonnam National University’s Convention Hall. The Atelier will end with a public closing ceremony on 6 September at the Asia Culture Center. - more...

Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic tours Germany in September and October, marking 25th anniversary

18 August 2015

[Seaside Resort Ahlbeck / 18 August] Concerts in Heiden, Hanover and in Peenemünde, Island of Usedom • International newcomer soloists: Heigo Rosin, Hyeyoon Park and Pauli Kari • World premiere of ‘Green’ Piano Concerto by Finn Severi Pyysalo at the 22nd Usedom Music Festival • European Cultural Award 2015 for BYP on 2 October in Dresden • In the 25th anniversary year of the reunification of Germany, Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic (BYP) undertakes a tour of the country, from west to east. The multinational orchestra of talented music students from all the countries around the Baltic Sea will bring their shared values of community, innovation and passion concern to Germany’s concert halls. Under the baton of Estonian Kristjan Järvi, BYP presents the world premiere of the ‘Green’ Piano Concerto by Finnish composer Severi Pyysalo. It also performs with three rising young soloists: Heigo Rosin, Hyeyoon Park and Pauli Kari. The orchestra’s year comes to an exciting climax on 2 October as it collects the prestigious European Cultural Award and performs at a star-studded event at Dresden’s Frauenkirche, the Church of our Lady. - more...

Monique Veaute to share her broad experience managing arts

17 August 2015

Monique Veaute, President of the Fondazione Romaeuropa in Italy, will also guide the participants of the next edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers that will take place in Gwangju from 31 August to 6 September 2015. They will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with her during this intensive week of training on festival management. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: For heaven’s sake

13 August 2015

“For heaven’s sake” is what my colleagues Piotr Turkiewicz, Renata Puczyńska, both working for the newly built National Forum of Music, and myself came up with when we met in Wroclaw last week to work out a concept for the 65th General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) which will be held in Wroclaw, Poland from 14 to 17 April 2016. We were still under full impression of our visit of the National Forum the previous evening; I had the unique opportunity to be taken on a tour of this impressive building with its Director, inventor and motor behind its realisation, Andrzej Kosendiak. The National Forum of Music will be officially opened at the beginning of September. Read the full blog by Kathrin Deventer on Festival Bytes. - more...

Marie-Hélène Falcon explores the ever-shifting frontiers where art and ideas meet

12 August 2015

Marie-Hélène Falcon, former Director Festival TransAmériques Montréal (Canada), with more than 30 years working in the field of festivals, will participate as a mentor in the next edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers that will take place in Gwangju from 31 August to 6 September 2015. She will share her insights and experience with the 36 participants from 20 countries all around the world. - more...

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