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"The [Arts Festivals'] Declaration defines a set of concepts and tools that illustrate the power and potential of arts festivals for taking our societies along a path from multiculturalism to interculturalism, where people do not simply co-exist alongside."

Odile Quintin, Director General European Commission

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!

The 18th Vilnius Festival: from Händel to... Händel!

14 April 2014

Launched by the Lithuanian National Philharmonic Society in 1997, the Vilnius Festival every year indulges the audience with the world music stars, combining diverse music art styles, theatre and dance. Traditionally held at the beginning of the summer, this culture celebration enjoys its 18th edition. The Festival will present eight original programmes (2-21 June 2014). - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers EDINBURGH 2014 connected international festival leaders

11 April 2014

[PRESS RELEASE; Brussels/Edinburgh, 11 April 2014] The Festival Academy’s Edinburgh edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers, the training programme initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), took place 3-10 April 2014. Hosted by the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), it brought together 51 young festival managers from 28 countries and 9 renowned festival directors from all over the world. They joined the growing network of 223 Alumni from 56 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 Poznan in October 2014. - more...

Blog from the Atelier: What will be different now?

09 April 2014

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” (Quote from Alice Through The Looking Glass). I started this gathering of 52 festival managers from 28 countries at the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh with a quote high in my mind. It’s from an artist I work with, called Micah Purnell: “If you don’t design the future, someone else will.” And now we are almost at the last day, I have questions and questions and questions.  Read the full blog by Laura Drane on Festival Bytes. - more...

Abu Dhabi Festival 2014 comes to a close after 117 events in 29 days

09 April 2014

Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF), the organisers of the Abu Dhabi Festival, are celebrating the resounding success of its 11th annual edition. Having welcomed world-class performers from jazz legend Herbie Hancock, to soprano superstar Renee Fleming and classical guitar sensation Milos Karadaglić, among many others, the Festival officially drew to a close on 4 April with a ceremony to recognise the legendary composer, musician and music mogul, Quincy Jones, with the prestigious 2014 Abu Dhabi Festival Award. - more...

Blog from the Atelier: Dear festival directors, go crazy and dare

08 April 2014

Day 5 of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers (7 April 2014) started well with an interesting chat at breakfast with Inge [Project Manager of the Atelier] about social integration in Belgium. First item on our agenda today: visits of various cultural venues in Edinburgh. I was in a small group with nine other festival managers from Australia, Palestine, the UK, Greece, India, Malta and New Zealand guided by Emma from the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) through the empty streets of Edinburgh heading towards the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Everybody was talking about how this city looks completely different in August. Read the full blog by Mohamed El Ghawy on Festival Bytes. - more...

Access to Culture Platform publishes “The Decisive Deal: Access to Culture, Access to Europe”

08 April 2014

The Audience Participation Working Group of the Access to Culture Platform announces its second publication called “The Decisive Deal: Access to Culture, Access to Europe.” Last year the working group launched a publication series on the Cultural Component of Citizenship. This year, it has worked to develop a new publication exploring the role of culture in Europe during the next 5-year EU political term. - more...

Blog from the Atelier: An amazing day: Heiner Goebbels, Jupiter Artland, and much more

07 April 2014

One begins to fall short of adjectives when they are to describe a day that began with an interaction with Heiner Goebbels and ended with a visit to Jupiter Artland. Most of the talk at breakfast was about the presentation by Heiner Goebbels the previous evening and how we were all so inspired by it. The interaction with him provided insights into several aspects of festival management covering a variety of topics ranging from physical spaces to audience demographics. Read the full blog by Ruchira Das on Festival Bytes.  - more...

Chopin Piano Fest "Prishtina" celebrates fifth anniversary

07 April 2014

The Kosovo Chopin Association will organise the Chopin Piano Fest "Prishtina" for the fifth time from 7-27 April 2014. The fifth edition of the festival will bring together distinguished pianists from the region and all over Europe for a cultural exchange. Most importantly, the festival offers a unique opportunity to local artists who strive for better conditions in the music performance sector. The Podium for young artists offers an opportunity for young pianists. - more...

Blog from the Atelier: Discovering our creativity in the Athens of the North

04 April 2014

Known as the Athens of the North; with medieval looking historic icons, Edinburgh stands behind my eyes like scenery from a novel by Umberto Eco. Home to world-known festivals and myriad cultural events, this great but grey city is welcoming 52 festival managers from 28 countries for the next week. What lies behind that hazy cityscape is not only the history but a long and successful story; a different kind of success that a city can achieve. It is about having survived World War II and becoming an area with amazing festivals and a phenomenal compelling cultural brand. I am here as a participant of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers. Read the full blog by Ceyda Berk on Festival Bytes. - more...

Joseph V. Melillo opened Atelier for Young Festival Managers EDINBURGH 2014

04 April 2014

Yesterday, on 3 April 2014, the Edinburgh edition of The Festival Academy’s Atelier for Young Festival Managers kicked off at the City Chambers. It was opened by Bailie Elaine Aitken, City of Edinburgh Council, and Laura Mackenzie-Stuart, Creative Scotland. Joseph V. Melillo, Artistic Director Brooklyn Academy of Music New York, gave a presentation setting the tone for 7 days of intense discussions and inspiring exchanges which will shape the careers of the Atelier participants. Sir Jonathan Mills, Festival Director and Chief Executive Edinburgh International Festival, and Kathrin Deventer, EFA Secretary General, welcomed the Atelier group. - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers EDINBURGH 2014 kicks off today: Follow online!

03 April 2014

The Festival Academy’s Atelier for Young Festival Managers EDINBURGH 2014, hosted by the Edinburgh International Festival, is running from 3 to 10 April 2014 in Edinburgh (UK)! Starting today with an inspiring opening session, the Atelier, the training programme initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), is set to follow the success of the previous editions. Follow EFA’s communication channels in the next days: stay up-to-date and participate online! - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers POZNAN (20-27 October 2014): application deadline approaching

02 April 2014

The Festival Academy’s second 2014 Atelier for Young Festival Managers, initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), will take place from 20 to 27 October 2014 in Poznan, Poland, in collaboration with the Malta Festival Poznan. Young festival managers from all over the world are invited to apply until 15 April 2014. Some 10 renowned festival directors will guide participants through the 7-day training programme against the backdrop of a vibrant Polish cultural city. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: From the ‘Temple of Artemis’ to ‘A Rose for Lilly’

01 April 2014

The sanctuary instinct of humans goes back to the dark corridors of existence. Not only for the sake of sheltering do humans build, but to reveal the mystery of immortality. Despite our tendency to destroy, we – ironically – also know how to revive deserted spaces. The human race, confronting the spectacular temples that were constructed ages ago, marvels at its own capacity, doesn’t it? As an Izmirian, as somebody living in a 8500-year-old city on the west coast of Anatolia, right in the middle of heritage of – what we call – civilizations, it is easy to say “yes”. Read the full blog by Ceyda Berk on Festival Bytes. - more...

Heiner Goebbels: “My work needs no introduction. Either it works or it doesn't”

28 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 52 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Heiner Goebbels, Artistic Director of the International Festival of the Arts Ruhrtriennale. - more...

MusMA workshop and concert to take place during the Ankara International Music Festival

28 March 2014

MusMA (Music Masters on Air), the European Broadcasting Festival, is an international initiative introduced in 2009-2010 by ten leading European festivals, all members of the European Festivals Association (EFA). The Turkish leg of MusMA is managed by Sevda-Cenap and Music Foundation (SCAMF), the organiser of the Ankara International Music Festival. The project is supported by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and the radios of nine countries that broadcast classical music. - more...

Atelier EDINBURGH 2014 brings high-level training to the Scottish Festival City

27 March 2014

[PRESS RELEASE; Brussels, Belgium, 27 March 2014] The Festival Academy’s next Atelier for Young Festival Managers, the training programme initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), will take place in Edinburgh, UK 3-10 April 2014. Hosted by the Edinburgh International Festival (EIF), it will bring together 52 young festival managers from 28 countries and 9 renowned festival directors from all over the world who will share their experiences and visions. Public events include the official opening ceremony with a presentation by longstanding BAM Artistic Director Joseph V. Melillo and a closing session with renowned theatre critic and columnist Joyce McMillan. - more...

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

26 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 52 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). - more...

Michał Merczyński: “Co-production is a risk but it is the most fruitful way to produce new pieces”

25 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 52 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Michał Merczyński, General Director of the Malta Festival Poznań. He previously participated in the Atelier IZMIR 2011 and Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012. - more...

Sir Jonathan Mills: “Artistic festival directors are expected to take risks”

21 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 52 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Sir Jonathan Mills, Festival Director and Chief Executive of the Edinburgh International Festival, host of our Atelier. He previously participated in the Atelier VARNA 2009 and the Atelier IZMIR 2011. - more...

34th Budapest Spring Festival: A Celebration of Spring in Budapest

20 March 2014

Budapest is a city of values and emotions, where festivals are as much about traditions as fascinating new surprises. The events of the 34th Budapest Spring Festival, held between 21 March and 6 April, will introduce visitors to a colourful and varied cultural scene in one of Europe’s most exciting capitals. Budapest holds countless wonders and surprises: its splendid spas, bustling city centre, the unique ruin pubs, an effervescent scene of multiculturalism, the World Heritage-listed sites, and both sides of the Danube embankment are all attractions that provide the city with an incomparable atmosphere. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Sarajevo 2014: Reading the Signs

20 March 2014

Many hills and buildings of all kind, partly hidden in mist. That’s the first impression of Sarajevo seen from the airplane. Once landed chaos rules. People have taken way too many suitcases, they are already packing while the plane is still hovering to its final position and the stewards are lost in translation. It will be fun in Sarajevo, that’s clear. - more...

Grace Lang: “Utilising inspirations”

18 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 52 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Grace Lang, Programme Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society. She previously participated in the Atelier SINGAPORE 2011. - more...

Joseph V. Melillo: “I realised my path was [...] enabling artists to do their work”

14 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 52 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Joseph V. Melillo, Executive Producer of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). - more...

Nele Hertling: “A festival director must support the artist”

12 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 52 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. One of them is Nele Hertling, Vice President of the Academy of Arts Berlin in Germany. She has participated in each Atelier edition since 2006: the Atelier GÖRLITZ 2006, the Atelier VARNA 2009, the Atelier SINGAPORE and IZMIR 2011, and the Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012. - more...

Gerard Mortier - In Memoriam

11 March 2014

On Sunday 9 March 2014, the renowned Belgian opera director Gerard Mortier has died at the age of 70 after battling cancer. It is with great sadness that we, at the European Festivals Association, have learned about Gerard Mortier’s passing away. His death leaves a gap for each of us who had the privilege of knowing him and having been able to work with him. - more...

Bernard Faivre d’Arcier: “A festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects”

10 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate in the Atelier to exchange with 52 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, the Atelier VARNA 2009, the Atelier SINGAPORE 2011, and the Atelier LJUBLJANA 2012. - more...

Hugo De Greef: “Handing over experiences to the next generation of festival makers"

06 March 2014

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Edinburgh from 3-10 April 2014, all presenters who will participate to exchange with 52 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. Nine renowned festival directors will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier EDINBURGH 2014. One of them is Hugo De Greef, Co-founder and Board member of The Festival Academy and former EFA Secretary General, who is also the General Coordinator of the Atelier. - more...

2014 General Assembly of the European Festivals Association: New Board Elected

05 March 2014

The 2014 General Assembly & Sarajevo Conversations of the European Festivals Association (EFA) took place from 26-28 February in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, under the title Rising to the Occasion. It was hosted by the International Festival “Sarajevo Winter”, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2014. 100 festival directors representing 62 festivals in 22 countries met colleagues, exchanged on what is at stake in the world of festivals all over Europe and beyond, and identified festivals’ contributions to the challenges of today’s society. One of the main outcomes: the Association elected a new Board for a 3-years term under the President Darko Brlek. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Sarajevo: Rising to the Occasion

25 February 2014

“Rising to the occasion” is the motto of this year’s gathering EFA organises for festivals on an annual basis. The event is hosted by the Sarajevo Winter Festival and its Directore Ibrahim Spahic. In 2014, the festival celebrates its 30th anniversary; at a time when social unrest and demonstrations for justice and social rights hit the country and the city recently. We are 20 years after the siege of Sarajevo; and 100 years after one of the most disastrous wars, World War I, broke out due to an incident in this city. Yes: there are many good reasons to be in Sarajevo at this point in time. Read the full blog by Kathrin Deventer on Festival Bytes. - more...

2014 EFA General Assembly to take place under the motto “Rising to the Occasion”

24 February 2014

From 26 February until 1 March 2014, the General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) will be held in Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and hosted by the International Festival ”Sarajevo Winter”, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2014. This year, it will comprise the Sarajevo Conversations on 26/27 February 2014. Some 100 festival directors representing 62 festivals in 22 countries will attend the annual EFA gathering, for the first time in the Association’s 60-years history hosted in Sarajevo. EFA and the International Festival “Sarajevo Winter” take this moment as an opportunity to underline once again their joint commitment to peace and solidarity. - more...

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