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Quote of the Week

Maybe it is the support, companionship, stimulation and fun to be gained from working within a peer group of people who share a passion that can enable groups to generate achievements greater than the sum of their parts.

Heather Maitland and Anne Roberts in “Greater than the sum of its parts” (2006)

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: The Middle Ages of European Festivals

24 November 2015

The big performing arts festivals on the ‘old continent’ turned into mass culture over the years. Huge events in which the influence of city marketing is very present. These festivals as Festival d’Avignon, Holland Festival, Wiener Festwochen and Edinburgh International Festival were built to overcome differences in Post-Second World War Europe. With present-day Europe at crisis in many aspects, but most pre-dominantly in the moral sphere, these festivals no longer proclaim a critical, reflective and political stance. They have become market orientated, tourist-attracting and city brand polishing Ivory towers. Read the full blog by Jonathan Offereins on Festival Bytes. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Duties of a privileged theatre maker

10 November 2015

Back home in Copenhagen after a week spent in Gwangju, South Korea, and the thoughts gathered during the Atelier for Young Festival Managers starts to form into new shapes in my head. At the Atelier I found myself in a room full of curious, creative and hardworking people engaged in the arts all over the world. Each one of us having very different realities and backgrounds, but all of us in various ways struggling to make the world a better place through our work. Read the full blog by Emilie Bendix on Festival Bytes. - more...

EFA's FestFlash (November 2015): Festival highlights from across the globe

05 November 2015

What do Kenya and South Korea have in common when in comes to arts and culture? What do you know about the festival scenes in Shanghai or in Tel-Aviv? What about the contemporary dance scene in Spain? Our Festival Bytes bloggers take you on a festival journey around the globe! What's more, we invite you to discover EFFE's autumn festivals taking place across Europe at Enjoy the journey, and read EFA's newsletter FestFlash!  - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Budapest - Apply by 8 November

04 November 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 8 November 2015. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: New Routes of the Silk Road

03 November 2015

Following the footsteps of humankind and the journey through history is always fascinating. It is a never-ending story of evolution, adaptation and irresistible instinct to find a nest to survive. In a broad perspective, what we call culture is the knowledge of humans, accumulated over generations with the purpose of continuation of mankind. On this long journey, the threat has been not only a harsh climate but also the brutality of competing tribes. And those who survive, for thousands of years, have been travelling; out of curiosity, because of necessity, or just to discover, to trade, to conquer, to defeat, to fight. As an Izmirian, coming from the coastal region of Anatolia, I am not unfamiliar with the stories of ancient heroes and their travels: Homer’s Odysseus, the Persian messengers described by Herodotus, or the traders of the Silk Road. Read the full blog by Ceyda Berk-Söderblom on the China Shanghai International Arts Festival / Performing Arts Fair on Festival Bytes.  - more...

EFA members met their Asian peers in Shanghai

02 November 2015

As in previous years, an EFA Delegation went to Shanghai (15-21 October 2015) for the China Shanghai International Arts Festival / Performing Arts Fair. Some 10 EFA members attended the event to meet colleagues from the Asian arts and festival sector and to explore collaboration opportunities. EFA President Darko Brlek spoke in a workshop on “How to Plan and Run an Arts Festival”. Ceyda Berk-Söderblom shares some more insights in her blog "New Routes of the Silk Road" on Festival Bytes.   - more...

New on Festival Bytes: What I Heard About The (Arts) World* 06

29 October 2015

While the December through March Festivals are still keeping their programmes under wraps here are some ideas of what you can already look forward to. This edition of What I heard about the (Arts) World* shares highlights from the Lucerne Festival at the Piano, Europalia Arts Festival, Festival d’Automne à Paris and Berliner Festspiele. As usual, we are looking at world premieres, collaborations and new productions. Read the full blog by Eva Nunes on Festival Bytes.  - more...

SoNoRo Festival celebrates 10th anniversary

27 October 2015

In 2015, the SoNoRo Festival in Bucharest, Romania celebrates its 10th anniversary from 30 October to 16 November. SoNoRo was born in 2006 as an experiment to bring chamber music back to Romania, where this genre of music making was somewhat forgotten at that time. Since then, SoNoRo Festival has developed into one of the most exciting, creative and internationally acclaimed cultural platforms in Eastern Europe. - more...

Lucerne Festival: ARK NOVA in Fukushima

20 October 2015

LUCERNE FESTIVAL ARK NOVA launches its third season: from 24 October to 3 November the mobile concert hall will be in operation in Fukushima. The name says it all: LUCERNE FESTIVAL ARK NOVA was initiated by Festival Executive and Artistic Director Michael Haefliger and the Japanese concert agency Masahide Kajimoto in response to the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami suffered by Japan on 11 March 2011. As a “new beginning” (from the Greek arché = beginning), LUCERNE FESTIVAL ARK NOVA was intended to make a contribution to cultural reconstruction in the regions of Japan that had been affected. For this purpose the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki and the British artist Anish Kapoor developed an inflatable mobile concert hall. - more...

2015 Nordic-Baltic Arts Festival Conference to take place in Stockholm

15 October 2015

The next conference of the Nordic-Baltic Festival Platform will take place on 29-30 October 2015 in Stockholm, Sweden. The conference aims to bring together managers and artistic directors of festivals from all fields of art to exchange ideas and best practices, make new connections and explore various possibilities for cooperation, as well as to visit some of Stockholm’s great arts shows. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: South Korea and Kenya: two kids from the same class

12 October 2015

During the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Gwangju, organised by The Festival Academy, I was privileged to visit some really amazing places and events including the Opening Festival at the newly constructed architectural marvel, the Asian Culture Complex (ACC). Kenya and South Korea have many things in common; I’d say if South Korea and Kenya were kids they would be in the same class. Read the full blog by Liz Kilili on Festival Bytes.  - more...

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 music director and conductor Zubin Mehta, on 3 September in Yerevan, Armenia. The concert was a huge success, and was one of the highlights of the festival season. The upcoming concert closing the autumn season by The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, with its music director and soloist Joshua Bell, will take place on 15 November at the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: La Bella Vita

06 October 2015

The Lago Maggiore, nice weather, concerts in historic and stunning settings, good food and fantastic wines; the “Settimane Musicale” had enough to offer! This year, national musicians where dominating the impressive list of concerts and recitals, possibly due to recent more complicated budget regulations of the Italian Government. It looks like more than ever festivals need to join forces to engage their artists. Stresa Festival offer their musical encounters in elegant and historic settings, among other, on three islands on the Lago Maggiore full of indigenous trees and flowers, historic buildings and small streets that are providing breath-taking views of the lake and the Swiss Alps. Read the full blog by Irme de Jong on Festival Bytes.  - more...

Europalia Arts Festival focuses on Turkey

05 October 2015

As of October, EUROPALIA focuses on Turkey! Turkey is often called “the cradle of civilization”. Since the earliest prehistoric times Anatolia has served as a bridge between Europe and Asia. Few other countries have known such a large number of civilizations succeed one another or exist side by side. Down the centuries this has fuelled intercultural cross-fertilization. So standing as it does at the crossroads of Asian and European cultures, Turkey is the ideal candidate for this edition. Exceptional masterpieces from the greatest Turkish museums, contemporary arts, traditional and contemporary dance, co-creations, from classical to electronic music, literary events, focus on film… all to be discovered from 6 October 2015 until 31 January 2016! - 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 by Eva Nunes 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...

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