BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts CEO and Artistic Director
"Festivals have always been an important part of my life. Already since my childhood I couldn’t imagine a summer without Festival d’Avignon and later many others during the whole year. One particular event that will always come into my mind if you ask me about the role of festivals in my life, is the 17th edition of the World Orchestra of Youth and Music. I will never forget the feeling I experienced during that event in Berlin in 1987. Back then in my early twenties, I was working in the production of that festival of performances held in West and East Berlin. Despite the political situation at that time, we could already feel the historical turning-point, the moment of connection this event created among the artists, the participants, the audience…. Now, just 30 years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, festivals seem to me more relevant than ever. They enable us discovering the unknown, they help us fighting our own ignorance, they open our minds. Festivals create a space for a shared experience, togetherness and have the magic power of uniting people across the world."