The EFFE Seal for Festivals Cities and Regions

A handshake between cities, regions and their festivals

The EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions is a recognition and an invitation to cities and regions that wish to associate and integrate their development and image with a strong festival, cultural - and European - commitment. 


Festivals and cities need to connect with each other in order to give their communities a temper, a spirit, a face, a soul. 
Festivals makers and cities have the role and responsibility to enable encounters between the arts and people and between the people.
The EFFE Seal is a concrete committing engagement signed by cities for close collaboration with their festivals. 


The EFFE Seal is a project developed in the frame of (a)Live Now by EFA and seven cities (Belgrade, Bergen, Edinburgh, Ghent, Krakow, Leeuwarden and Ljubljana) and their stakeholders. It is part and a concrete result of the Festival Cities Initiative. It will be launched at the Arts Festivals Summit 2022 in Yerevan (12-15 September 2022).

Its major principles are the following:

  • Seal a closer collaboration between festivals and their cities 
  • Support arts festivals in the cities 
  • Engage cities with their festivals in ‘conversations’ and ‘encounters’ 
  • Create structured dialogue platforms between festivals and politics 


The EFFE Seal invites cities (organised and administered local territories, which may also be regions) to be recognised for their contribution and collective process with their festivals community. 

It enables the development of exchanges between different layers including cities, audiences, artists, and other involved players, based on a joint action plan and a common set of values. The Seal establishes a community of cities and their festivals that share these ambitions and features and stimulate others to join. 

It is resulting in the development of an action programme on topics on which the community wants to exchange and work. Indeed, collaboration between a city and its arts festivals can unfold festivals’ potential in tackling the most important concerns of our era (climate responsibility, social inequalities, humanitarian crises, crises of representative democracy etc.). 


Cities and regions are recipients of the EFFE Seal in recognition of their achievements towards their festivals as well as in commitment to future collaborations.

Cities are creative centres. They are the place where civil society has its chances to take responsibility, to cooperate with the political decision-makers on many different levels and to develop social innovation and active citizenship. The power of innovation and culture as a motor for dialogue with partners of various disciplines and citizens is immensely strong in a city.

The EFFE Seal will help cities associate and integrate their de¬velopment and image to a strong cultural commitment.

The Seal will help present the members as festival cities, and being associated with vibrant locations and creative hubs and offers an additional dimension to the city brand. It will then improve adherent cities’ cultural profiles.  Moreover, the EFFE Seal is one more anchor from cities to the common European project, granting them more visibility on the European cultural scene.

On the conceptual level, familiarity with peers in the network helps to define the city’s own festival strategy. 

On a short term practical level, festival schedules, logistics and marketing can be adjusted better.

From a global perspective, festivals can be a resource in the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals. 


If you like to know more about the EFFE Seal, please write to

The EFFE Seal is part of the broader ambition of EFA to bring arts under the permanent attention of audiences worldwide. EFFE stands for Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe. The EFFE Label is the ongoing recognition scheme that rewards festivals’ engagement towards this goal. is the website that offers all information about the EFFE Label and Seal in an accessible way.

More about the EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions launch in Yerevan at the Arts Festivals Summit 2022 coming soon.