Arts Festivals Summit 2018

EFA's Arts Festivals Summit 2018, including the 66th EFA General Assembly, EFFE MeetUp and the opening of the Slovenian Music Days, took place from 11 to 14 April in Ljubljana (Slovenia), hosted by the Ljubljana Festival. The theme of this year’s Summit was The [Herit]AGE of the ARTS - Audiences in the heart of the places.

We are looking forward to bring the festivals’ community together in great diversity! Together with our host, the Ljubljana Festival and its Director Mr Darko Brlek, a three-day programme exceptionally rich in opportunities for networking, exchange and inspiration is created in the green oasis of Ljubljana. Three days of meeting colleagues, information exchange and knowledge sharing are prepared, along with an insightful and enjoyable programme that will invite all to taste fantastic food, Slovenian wine and visit the historic and cultural treasures of the city.

The Arts Festivals Summit’s theme is The [Herit]AGE of the ARTS - Audiences in the heart of the places. EFA members will be offered a platform to highlight their historical and current role in their city and region, above all their role in taking responsibility for the heritage of the past and supporting the heritage of the future, bringing visitors and audiences to unknown places, literally and figuratively. 

The Arts Festivals Summit 2018 will bring together EFA members, The Festival Academy Alumni, EFFE Label recipients, EFFE Hubs and the EFFE International Jury as well as representatives from cities, national tourism boards, UNESCO, Chambers of Commerce, the European Commission as well as the Council of Europe.

© Tina Ramujkić

Wednesday, 11 April 2018 | Official Opening Arts Festivals Summit

Arrival of delegates 

13:00-19:00 | Registration (Grand Hotel Union, Grand Foyer)

13:30-14:30 | EFFE Hubs Meeting
(Grand Hotel Union, Glass Hall) - Only for EFFE Hubs

14:30-15:00 | Welcome coffee
(Grand Hotel Union, Grand Foyer)

15:00 - 17:00 | Festivals and Tourism: how destinations become alive
(Grand Hotel Union, Glass Hall)
Petra Stušek, Managing Director at Ljubljana Tourism and Vice-President of European Cities Marketing Association. | Welcome 
Hermina Kovačič Communication Expert and Director Luksuz | Moderation
Geert Cochez Deputy CEO of and  Sjoerd Feitsma Deputy Mayor of the City of Leeuwaarden | Best practice presentations of the impact of festivals on tourism


17:30 - 18:30 | Dark Union by Josef Nadj and EnKnapGroup (Španski Borci Cultural Centre)
Reserve tickets by emailing 
Participants can take a taxi to go to Španski Borci


Meet and Greet EFA members and guests
Welcome by
Zoran Janković, Major of Ljubljana
Darko Brlek, Artistic and General Director Ljubljana Festival
Jan Briers, President European Festivals Association (EFA) 
New Swing Quartet

Welcome Banquet

© Sandi Fišer

Thursday, 12 April 2018 I EFFE MeetUp: The [Herit]AGE of the ARTS

EFA members meet EFFE Label recipients and The Festival Academy alumni for the EFFE MeetUp dedicated to audiences in the heart of the places.

@Grand Hotel Union

9:00-9:30 | Registration and welcome coffee (Grand Hotel Union, Grand Foyer)

9:30-10:00 | Welcome and Introduction 
Mateja Demšič, Head of Department for Culture City of Ljubljana | Introduction to the Ljubljana Cultural Strategy
Catherine Magnant,  Advisor, Head of the Task-Force of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, European Commission | Introduction to the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 

10:00-13:00 | In Conversation about…
‘In conversation about….’ is a series of parallel one-on-one (max 10 participants) conversations inspired by a series of presentations on topics related to the work on audiences in cultural heritage sites on the one hand, and our responsibility to contribute to the heritage of the future on the other. 
Host of the day: Annabelle Van Nieuwenhuyse

  • Arts are worth it! In conversation about the role of cities in investing and supporting culture
    Philippe Kern Founder and Managing Director of KEA
    Annelies Storms Deputy Mayor for Culture, Tourism and Events, City of Ghent
  • Bring them together! In conversation about the impact of an artistic project in bringing together the citizens and impacting audiences in valuing our common European heritage
    Ceyda Berk-Söderblom Co-founder and Director at MiklagardArts, Atelier Alumni &  Studio Aleppo [Helsinki] 
    Geert Cochez Deputy CEO of
  • Transform cities, use the arts! In conversation about the role of cities in investing and supporting culture and the role of artistic projects in partnering with the cities to make a common vision for the development of citizen’s access to high quality artistic projects
    Sjoerd Feitsma Deputy Mayor of the City of Leeuwarden
    Carlos Pinto Sá Mayor of the City of Évora & Member of the Committee of the Regions
  • The audience experience! In Conversation about the ways of engaging audiences in an artistic experience
    Airan Berg Artistic Director of the Festival der Regionen & Artistic Director of the Orfeo & Majnun - Interdisciplinary & intercultural participatory Music Theater Project
    Dieter Boyer Senior Advisor to the City Councillor and State Minister for Arts, Science and Sports of Vienna

13:00-13:15 | Closing words by EU Commissioner for Culture Tibor Navracsics

13:15-14:30 | Lunch (Grand Foyer)

14:30-15:00 | “EFA Informs...” 
Barbara Gessler, Head of Unit DG EAC D2 Culture & Creativity, Creative Europe | Introduction
EFA and its members
The Festival Academy
Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe 

15:00-15:45 | The [Herit]AGE of the ARTS – Keynote Speech 
Keynote Speech by Peter Bossman (Committee of the Regions & Mayor of Piran) in representation of  Karl-Heinz Lambertz (President of the European Committee of the Regions) 
Concluded with a joint festive statement: the Ljubljana Declaration of EFA and Eurocities: Festivals and Cities for Europe. A joint Agenda introduced by Doris Pack (former chair of the European Parliament’s Culture Committee)

15:45 | Group photo

16:00 | Closing drink and informal networking (Grand Foyer)

18:30 | Meeting all EFA delegates (Grand Hotel Union, lobby)
Guided walk to SNG Opera in ballet Ljubljana (550m)

19:0Ballet 100 (SNG Opera in balet Ljubljana)

22:00 | Dinner reception (National Gallery of Slovenia)
Welcome by Dr. Barbara Jaki (Director of National Gallery of Slovenia)

Host of the Arts Festivals Summit

Friday, 13 April 2018 | EFA 66th General Assembly (for EFA members only)

9:00 | Meeting all EFA delegates (Grand Hotel Union, lobby)
Guided walk to Ljubljana Town Hall (Municipality of Ljubljana) (400m)

9:30-10:00 | Welcome Coffee (Ljubljana Town Hall, Big Conference Hall)

10:00-13:30 | EFA General Assembly (Ljubljana Town Hall, Big Conference Hall)

13:30-15:00 | Lunch (Ljubljana Town Hall, Red Hall)

13:30-15:00 | CAM Meeting (only for EFA Collective & Affiliate members) including lunch (Ljubljana Town Hall, Red Hall)

15:00-17:30 | Future Heritage AmbassadorsEFA members presentation & exchange of co-production and co-touring offers (Ljubljana Town Hall, Big Conference Hall)
Pitch your commissions, co-productions and co-touring and find partners! The European Commission is there to support your either with visibility or funding for your cooperation projects. With
Catherine Magnant, Advisor, Head of the Task-Force of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, European Commission | Presentation of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018: how to use the EYCH 2018 label and take part in the celebrations 
Anita Debaere, Director of PEARLE Live Performance Europe (EFA RISE 2 Synergy Partner) | Information on the EYCH stakeholder group & Presentation of the What you didn’t know about Europe - The Ultimate Cookbook for Cultural Managers series: Visas
Mateja Lazar, Head of the Slovenian Creative Europe Desk | Workshop on the Creative Europe Cooperation projects strand 

18:20 | Meeting all EFA delegates (Grand Hotel Union, lobby)
Guided walk to Ljubljana Castle Funicular Railway (700m)


EFA Honours its members and honorary friends
EFA Celebrates member’s contribution to Cultural Heritage | EFA Festival in Focus by Simon Mundy (writer & broadcaster) 
European Year of Cultural Heritage presented by Catherine Magnant (Coordinator of the EYCH, EAC.D) including the award of the EYCH label to EFA
Arts Festivals Council: Taking responsibility for the cultural narrative in Europe - taking position & practicing generosity by Jan Briers
Honorary Members by Jan Briers 

19:30 | Farewell Dinner

© Sandi Fišer

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Departure of delegates

EFA General Assembly © Tina Ramujkić

Arts Festivals Summit 2018 - Registration (EFA Members - second registration)