Arts Festivals Summit 2020: a Culture Summit for Hope

The Arts Festivals Summit 2020 will be a special one this year and transform into a Culture Summit for Hope. The Summit is planned from 23-25 November in Galway the European Capital of Culture 2020 and hosted by AOIFE - the Association of Irish Festivals and Events. Under the motto ‘hope’ for a new future for all of us, the annual Get-Together of festival makers will be the moment to build an Arts Festivals Alliance.

The Culture Summit for Hope, 23-25 November

Arts and culture matter. Access to culture is a human right and a human necessity. Singing and dancing together, connecting with each other, with past times, with ourselves through the language of arts have been important ingredients of our communities (not only) in the past weeks. A great deal of power, of solidarity and of community building is shown. New alliances and connections are made: through digital ways, through emotional ways. And many questions are put on the table that have been accentuated by this crisis about the way we live and organize our lives, about human connections, about the cooperation between countries, about the mandate of the EU and other supra-national organisations, the future of our international relations and solidarity, about the ‘pains’ of today’s globalized world. 

Festivals are one of the most powerful agents of reflection, of recovery and renewal. We intend to bring those ‘enabling’ stakeholders together that contribute to festivals’ commitment and work towards the artists, the arts and the audiences: Cities, sponsors, governments, EU and other stakeholders will be invited to dialogue with the festivals community, artists as well as concert halls, theaters and artistic and cultural networks. We will need their commitment and dialogue to help with the rebooting of our festivals. What is the power of festivals? What is the state and future of our festivals post-corona? What resources do they need to get back to full operation? What (new) partnerships can be put in place? What new online initiatives can be carried on or consolidated from the shutdown period?

Galway, European Capital of Culture 2020

Galway has always been a place celebrating the community, the arts, science and story telling. On the western edge of Europe, we come together in Europe's 2020 European Capital of Culture to speak with those that will enable the arts and festivals to contribute in a meaningful way to our challenges post-corona: we invite you to a new alliance for arts, for festivals and our work with our communities. 

With inspirational presentations and panel discussions with politicians, business representatives, artists agents, concert halls, theatre houses and EU decision makers, eye-to-eye encounters, one-on-one formats combined with group – in/to – group conversations, cultural visits, arts and the obligatory Irish pub: the 3-day Arts Festivals Summit has something unexpected and expected for all of us: EFA and AOIFE members, the Festival Academy Alumni, EFFE Labels and Hubs, cities representatives and guests.

It is co-organized with the Association of Irish Festivals and Events (AOIFE), in collaboration with the GMIT, the Nun's Island Theatre, the city of Galway, the county of Galway, Culture Ireland, The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltache and Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.