Arts Festivals Summit 2024 - Programme

The annual Get-Together of festival makers on Usedom, Germany hosted by the Usedom Music Festival takes place from 12 to 15 May 2024. At a glimpse, the programme looks as follows (times shown are according to German time UTC+2). Registration for the Arts Festivals Summit is closed and conference hotel is fully booked.

Sunday, 12 May 2024

Day of arrival delegates: EFA Members, EFFE Hubs, Alumni of The Festival Academy, EFFEA Festivals and Artists, EFFE Label festivals, Cities & Regions' representatives, speakers, and others

12.00-18.00 | Registration and afternoon networking time

  • 12.00 | We will start the registration at the Kaiserhof Hotel. The registration desk will be open until 20.00.
  • 12.30 & 15.30 | Guided tours of Heringsdorf.
  • 12.30 & 15.30 | ‘Pass the ball’ game. 
  • 13.00-14.00 | Individual lunch
  • 14.00 | After-lunch walk at the beach.
  • 15.30 | Workshop on Sustainable Partnerships by Fluctuations (an impact festival navigating European rivers) for 5-10 participants. Read more here and fill in the form to register.

15.00-17.00 | EFA Board meeting (For EFA Board Members only)

18.30 | Opening of the Arts Festivals Summit at Kaiserhof Hotel

18.30 | Welcome

  • Thomas Hummel, Intendant of Usedom Music Festival
  • Jan Briers, President of EFA

Introduction of the conference topics around "The art of awareness, caring and connectivity" and the 10 topics of the ‘Denis de Rougemont Laboratories’ taking place the next day. 

20.00 | Opening dinner with flying buffet and music

21.30 | Golden quiz night hosted by Tamar Brüggemann and Peter Florence

Monday, 13 May 2024

7.30 | Yoga with Katie, running at the beach, swimming with Colm and Gert

Conference and concert day in Peenemünde

8.30 | MEETING POINT Kaiserhof Hotel Entrance for the bus

8.45 | Departure by bus

10.00 | Plenary session and Keynote by Jelle Dierickx

During this session you will get an introduction to the Peenemünde Historical Technical Museum, the location and its history. It will be followed by a keynote by Jelle Dierickx (Director of the Festival of Flanders Mechelen/Kempen) on the topic "Don't hear up: Frau Luna’s Deep Listening". After the keynote, we will give you explanations about the Denis de Rougemont Labs, the working sessions in groups, the content, concept and spirit of the day.

11.00 | Denis de Rougemont Labs

We will dive into a series of parallel working groups called the ‘Denis de Rougemont Laboratories’ covering 3 main thematic areas: Festivals and the arts; Festivals and society; Festivals and their money. The DdR Labs aim to understand where the arts can make a powerful contribution to our quality of life, and think about a personal / organisational way to make a next ‘move up’ on the living conditions scale. 

The 10 topics steered by an ‘expert’ offer space for in-depth reflection and joint thinking for 3 hours, to share personal experiences and systemic discussions. Read more about the ‘Denis de Rougemont Laboratories’, the 10 topics and the experts on this page. 

13.00 | Standing lunch

14.00 | Denis de Rougemont Labs

Continuation of the working session in groups. Read more here.

15.15 | Plenary session Denis de Rougemont Lab

Following the 3-hour discussions, all participants will come together and connect the dots on the two main questions that transcend all the Laboratories:  
1. How do we – the arts, festivals, cities & regions, Europe – contribute to create better living conditions for the people and the planet?
2. What do we need: from us, from politics, from the world?

Each working group will have the floor to summarise the contributions to the 10 different topics.

16.15 | Group picture followed by coffee break

17.15 | Screening of a video from Iliana Ivanova, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth

17.20 | Keynote by Lech Wałęsa, Nobel Prize winner

In his keynote "Visions for Europe", Lech Wałęsa will speak on the place of Central European countries in the European Union and the importance of democracy in our societies, a universal value that is today more important than ever.

The keynote will be followed by a 30-minutes interaction between Lech Wałęsa and Shahidul Alam, Rūta Prusevičienė and Nele Hertling, facilitated by Simon Mundy.

19.00 | Concert by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic

21.00 | Dinner with flying buffet

During the dinner, you will be able to interact and talk with Kristjan Järvi, Conductor of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic, and members of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic

22.30 | Bus back to hotel

Tuesday, 14 May 2024

7.30 | Yoga, running, swimming

9.00-12.00 | Workshops and group meetings in parallel

  • 9.00-10.15 | The Festival Academy workshop: The First Supper. More info here. (Open to all)
  • 10.30-12.00 | Sustainability workshop "The Green Euro: Net Zero, Cash Positive" facilitated by Peter Florence and Tamar Brüggemann, the initiators from the European Festivals Forest. More info here. (Open to all)
  • 9.00-12.00 | Festival Cities and Regions workshop, hosted by Peter Inkei (Budapest Observatory) and conceptualised and facilitated by Nicolas Bertrand and Nele Hertling from A Soul for Europe. More info here. (For cities and regions representatives and all interested delegates) 
  • 9.00-12.00 | Care Share workshop on arts and well-being with Rarița Zbranca (Cluj Cultural Centre) and Mahir Namur (Existential Coach, Lecturer & Trainer). More info here. (Maximum 20 people)
  • 9.00-10.15 | 70-Years-On meeting (By invitation only)
  • 8.00-12.00 | EFA Collective and Affiliate Members and EFFE Hubs meeting (By invitation only)

12.00 | Individual lunch

13.30-17.00 | EFA Members General Assembly (For EFA Members only)

The EFA Members General Assembly is to discuss all legal and financial affairs of the association and includes the Spring Catch Up inviting new members.

17.30 | Meeting point at Kaiserhof Hotel to walk to the dock

17.45 | Departure by boat to Misdroy/Międzyzdroje (Polish part of the island)

We will take the boat all together to the Polish side of the island of Usedom.

18.45 | Closing Evening of the Arts Festivals Summit at the Polish Cultural Centre 

The evening starts with the keynote of Kateryna Botanova (Cultural critic & co-curator of Culturescapes) on "A few observations on care, awareness, and connecting time we spent together with the war in sight" and exchanges with the delegates. It will then be followed by the signing of the EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions by new localities joining the initiative, the presentation of the European Festivals Fund for Emerging Artists - EFFEA, and concludes with the concert of the quartet of an EFFEA residency.

20.45 | Standing reception

22.30 | Bus back to hotel

Wednesday, 15 May 2024

Day of departure

10.00-11.00 | Workshop on Sustainable Partnerships at Kaiserhof Hotel
Workshop organised by Fluctuations (an impact festival navigating European rivers) for 5-10 participants. Read more here and fill in the form to register.


The Arts Festivals Summit’s Off Programme offers interesting possibilities to make the most of your presence. The activities in Berlin and the beautiful region of Usedom itself offer the perfect occasion to prolong your stay before heading back home.

1. Classical:NEXT in Berlin: After our Summit, we invite you to attend Classical:NEXT for a special rate. Taking place in Berlin from 13 till 17 May, Classical:NEXT is the global networking and exchange hub dedicated exclusively to classical and art music for all professionals. We offer our members a reduced “EFA Network” rate of 220€ that applies until 22 March. When registering to the Arts Festivals Summit, make sure to mark your interest in this event to receive the discount code.

2. Theatertreffen Festival in Berlin: Theatertreffen, the theatre festival of Berliner Festspiele, offers you to discover the performance LAIOS. Anthropolis II by Roland Schimmelpfenning, a production by Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg directed by Karin Beier on Wednesday 15 May. The performance starts at 20.00 at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and there will be a get-together with Matthias Pees (Director of Berliner Festspiele), Yusuke Hashimoto (Head of Dramaturgy of Berliner Festspiele), and Nora Hertlein-Hull (Director of Theatertreffen), starting one hour before the show, at 19.00.

3. Discover the region