feed Ljubljana Festival and Batumi MusicFest presented their 2016 programmes in Brussels

Photo Gallery

Festival in portrait

SoNoRo Festival

Quote of the Week

“The mission of a festival should be to educate its partners to promote the important role arts and culture play in our societies!”

Ruta Prusiviciene, General Director of Vilnius Festival, in the framework of the 7th Brussels Debate


  • 1952 Foundation of the “Association Européenne des Festivals de Musique” by Denis de Rougemont, first President (until 1982), and Igor Markevitch • René Gerhard Podbielski becomes Secretary General (until 1955) • Founding members: Festival Aix-en-Provence • Bayreuther Festspiele • Berliner Festspiele • Festival International de Musique de Besançon Franche-Comté • Festival de Musique Bordeaux • Teatro Del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Fondazione • Holland Festival • Lucerne Festival • Münchner Opernfestspiele • Sagra Musicale Umbra - Perugia • Festival de Musique de Strasbourg • Biennale di Venezia - International Festival of Contemporary Music • Wiener Festwochen • Internationale Mai-Festspiele Wiesbaden • Zürcher Festspiele
  • 1953-1955 General Assemblies Geneva
  • 1956 Abraham Van der Vies becomes Secretary General (until 1959) • First General Assembly outside Geneva: Venice
  • 1957 First research published on “The role of festivals in Europe’s cultural life” (“Le rôle des festivals dans la vie culturelle de l’Europe”)
  • 1959 General Assembly Munich
  • 1960 Franz Walter becomes Secretary General and artistic advisor (until 1983)
  • 1966 First festival from outside Europe joined: Israel Festival, Jerusalem
  • 1974 General Assembly Athens
  • 1976 General Assembly Strasbourg • Publication "Festivals de Musique Européens"
  • 1977 General Assembly Bruges
  • 1978 General Assembly Salzburg
  • 1979 General Assembly Verona
  • 1980 General Assembly Granada
  • 1981 General Assembly Bregenz
  • 1982 Tassilo Nekola becomes second President (until 1989) at the General Assembly Stresa
  • 1983 Henry Siegwart becomes Secretary General (until 1996) at the General Assembly Santander
  • 1984 General Assembly Ljubljana
  • 1985 General Assembly Estoril
  • 1986 General Assembly Amsterdam
  • 1987 General Assembly Bergen
  • 1988 General Assembly Berlin
  • 1989 Frans de Ruiter becomes third President (until 2004) at the General Assembly Istanbul • European co-production, co-promotion and co-sponsorship committee
  • 1990 General Assembly Athens
  • 1991 General Assembly Prague • Creation of working groups on early music, contemporary music, extra-European arts and more
  • 1992 General Assembly Pesaro • Celebration of EFA’s 40th anniversary in Berlin
  • 1993 General Assembly Budapest
  • 1994 General Assembly Brighton
  • 1995 General Assembly Ljubljana • Publication “European Festivals”
  • 1996 Tamás Klenjánszky becomes Secretary General (until 2004) at General Assembly Brussels
  • 1997 New categories of membership are introduced for ‘collective’ members at the General Assembly Turin • European Music Festivals Association becomes European Festivals Association
  • 1998 General Assembly Estoril
  • 1999 Cooperation with the EU - first financial support • First EFA training programme in Geneva • General Assembly Dubrovnik
  • 2000 Set up of EuroFestival and a Data Centre in Brussels at the General Assembly Helsinki • EFA develops first website under EuroFestival • EFA training programme in Estoril
  • 2001 General Assembly Bad Kissingen • Ars Nova working group on contemporary music in Berlin
  • 2002 50th anniversary at the General Assembly Coppet/Geneva: Festival of Festivals and EFA 50th anniversary Charter by Dragan Klaic • Ars Nova Amsterdam
  • 2003 General Assembly Wroclaw • Ars Nova Zagreb
  • 2004 Gavin Henderson becomes fourth President (until 2004) • Move from Switzerland to Belgium • Hugo De Greef becomes Secretary General (until 2008) • General Assembly London • Conference: “New Europe, New Horizons! What next for festivals?” • Foundation of AAPAF, sister network in Asia • Launch of European Festival Research Project (EFRP)
  • 2005 Darko Brlek becomes fifth President at the General Assembly Brno • Conference: “EFA and its Networking Opportunities” • Ars Nova Zagreb
  • 2006 Launch EFA BOOKS Series: EFA BOOKS 1 “Still so much to be done” at the occasion of the centenary of Denis de Rougemont • Launch Atelier for Young Festival Managers: Atelier GÖRLITZ • General Assembly Luxembourg • Conference: “Festivals and the Media” • CAMM Rome (Collective and Affiliate Members Meeting) • Ars Nova Oslo
  • 2007 General Assembly Brussels • Conference: “Cultural Networks at Work”, in cooperation with the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) • First Round Table with EU Commissioner for Culture Jan Figel’ • Ars Nova Brussels • CAMM Ljubljana
  • 2008 Kathrin Deventer becomes Secretary General (active mandate) at the General Assembly Antalya • Conference: “Festivals in a Globalising World” • First engagement in the European Years: European Year of Intercultural Dialogue – launch of Arts Festivals’ Declaration on Intercultural Dialogue, Ljubljana • Launch European House for Culture • Launch EU Platform Access to Culture, EFA is one of the founding members • EFA BOOKS 2: Give, Get or Get Off! Challenges of cultural networking today • EFA BOOKS 3: Cahier de l’Atelier. Arts festivals for the sake of art? • CAMM Tallinn
  • 2009 General Assembly Vilnius • Conference: “Artistic Trends in Festivals” • Atelier VARNA • European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009: launch of FestLab for Creativity and Innovation, Prague  • Launch of MusMA: Music Masters on Air • EFA BOOKS 4: Dialogue. Festivals Act for an Intercultural Society • CAMM Ubeda
  • 2010 General Assembly Merano • Conference “Open the Door” • Round Table with EU Commissioner for Culture Androulla Vassiliou • President of Croatia Ivo Josipovic receives EFA, launch of No Borders Orchestra • First AAPAF-EFA meeting • Ars Nova Brussels • CAMM Stockholm • European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion 2010: Open the Door
  • 2011 General Assembly Varna • Conference: “Out of the Box” • Publication: Open the Door • Atelier SINGAPORE • Atelier IZMIR • CAMM Budapest • Launch of FESTudy (research project initiated by France Festivals)
  • 2012 Diamond Jubilee: “EFA 60 Years On: Festivals and the World” • Launch of EFA Blog Festival Bytes • Round Table with EU Commissioner for Culture Androulla Vassiliou • Launch of African Festival Association and FestArab • CAMM Dublin • Jubilee Gala & General Assembly Bergen: kick off “Bergen Agenda” • Atelier LJUBLJANA • EFA BOOKS 5: Inside/Insight Festivals. 9 Festival Directors - 9 Stories • European House for Culture kicking off European Year of Citizens 2013
  • 2013: Round Table with EU Commissioner for Culture Androulla Vassiliou • CAMM Belgrade • General Assembly Granada • Conference: "Festival Life 2013" • Launch The Festival Academy • Festival Readings Sibiu • Partnership in the “Cultural Coalition for a Citizens’ Europe" with the European House for Culture, the Access to Culture Platform and A Soul for Europe • Story-telling about festivals on EFA Blog Festival Bytes
  • 2014: Launch of EFFE: Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, the Pilot Project for a European Platform for Festivals • Round Table with EU Commissioner for Culture Androulla Vassiliou and new EU Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics • General Assembly Sarajevo • "Sarajevo Conversations" • Ateliers for Young Festival Managers EDINBURGH and POZNAN • Festival Readings Sibiu • CAMM Lucerne • Partnership in "Rising to the Occasion" (RISE) with The Festival Academy, the European House for Culture, A Soul for Europe, and others • Story-telling about festivals on EFA Blog Festival Bytes
  • 2015:  EFFE: Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, the Pilot Project for a European Platform for Festivals • General Assembly Ostrava •  Ateliers for Young Festival Managers BEIRUT and GWANGJU • Festival Readings Yerevan and Sibiu • Partnership in "Rising to the Occasion" (RISE) with The Festival Academy, the European House for Culture, A Soul for Europe, and others • Story-telling about festivals on EFA Blog Festival Bytes
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