POSTPONED: Arts Festivals Summit 2020 – Galway

The Arts Festivals Summit is postponed due to the impact of COVID-19 and decisions taken by the Irish and other EU governments. Your health and safety is our priority. Instead, a Cultural Summit for Hope will take place in Galway from 23-25 November 2020. More info coming soon!

The annual Get-Together of festival makers in the European Capital of Culture 2020 hosted by AOIFE - the Association of Irish Festivals and Events

“Under Continual Construction”

We cordially extend this invitation to you for the European Festivals Association’s annual rendez-vous “Under continual Construction”, the get-together of 250 festival makers at the Arts Festivals Summit. 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 share our wisdom, concerns, artistic proposals, reflections. We also come together to speak about the arts and festivals, and to collect: surprising insights, convincing perspectives, strong proposals, valuable questions. Join us!

Europe is under continual construction. Here and now. So is the world’s community. So are festivals.

Each of us individually, but also on the festivals’ and organized civil society level has a say and delivers a contribution to this permanent construction exercise.“Under continual Construction” is our guiding line, throwing light on all sorts of building blocks informing, influencing and enabling the work of festival makers: the world that demands; the arts that create; a festival that offers a platform; cities that host; policy makers who enable. We ask to listen to people that are inviting us to their universe of permanent construction and re-construction, of creation from idea to practice: artists, thinkers, writers, philosophers, academics.

We connect festival programmers to exchange on the insights of the latest artistic trends, we connect shakers and makers and invite to throw in the best of their potential to embrace the tasks and opportunities that are presenting themselves to us today: an alliance in full construction.

With inspirational presentations, 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.

Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture

Monday, 27 April 2020

Galway Bay Hotel

11.30 – 16.30      AOIFE Arts Festivals Summit Meet Up

Association of Irish Events and Festivals members meet European Festivals.  Facilitated exchanges on opportunities of collaboration, learning and knowledge sharing.

16.00 – 19.00      The Festival Academy Steering Committee (by invitation only)

17.00  19.00      Festival Cities Alliance meeting (by invitation only)

This work platform gathers mayors, cities and festivals to share best practices, collaborative models to inspire each other and work on a common agenda. 

 17.00 – 19.00      Open Podium: Meet, Greet and Pitch your project

What do we need to know about the state of festivals across Europe? The latest trends, questions and proposals are pitched by EFA members and Irish festivals presenting their project for the next years, or introducing the state of the arts across various regions in the world.

 19:00 – 21.00      Opening of the Arts Festivals Summit

On how Galway turned into a city of festivals and arts, on how stories connect times, us and how our we-story of the next three days is shaping.

 21:00                     Dinner at the bar and foyer

Arts Festivals Summit 2019 Lisbon

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Arts Festivals Summit MeetUp at GMIT, with a set of inspirational presentations. The morning session is the time for us to listen to people that are people beyond the festival makers zone, ‘outsiders’ of the business of programming that are informing our work with their proposals.  We invite you to sit still, take a pen and a paper, or just open ears and eyes and listen. To those that had and have the time to think and process deeply about our world: artists, researchers, philosophers, writers; to the ways these creators are thinking and doing ‘their thing’: craftsmen and women; to the thoughts and work processes of someone that might have another expertise but shares the same concerns; to the reaction inside ourselves what these thoughts mean for us and our business.

7.30 – 8.10 Early run

Start the day in a healthy way, clear your mind and energize yourself. Everyone is welcome to join! Meet Tamar Brüggemann and Jurriaan Cooiman at the entrance of the Galway Bay Hotel for an early 5km run. 

10.00     Under Continual Construction – a series of keynote presentations

Aleš Šteger, poet and prose writer

More keynote speakers will be announced soon.

13.30     In the heart of festival making: facilitated lunch tool box discussions on the last insides, the hottest topics, the new waves of ideas, online tools, latest formats to take home

All topics and speakers are listed on the Lunch Toolbox Discussions page.

15.30     Walk and Talk Cultural Visits to meet Galway’s arts and cultural community and venues

The afternoon brings us to the heart of the arts in small walk and talk tours to the cultural venues and communities of Galway ending at the St Nicholas Church for the festive conclusion of the 4th Arts Festivals Summit.

19.00     St Nicholas church: EFA Young Artists Concert including conclusion of the Summit

Followed by individual dinner, encounter, meeting and sleeping time.

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

9.30 – 13.30        EFA General Assembly (for EFA Members only)

The EFA General Assembly takes place at the Nun's Island Theatre  concluding the Arts Festivals Summit with the preparation of the EFA work for the next years.

Morning (TBA)   Festival Cities Alliance meeting (by invitation only)

This second meeting of the Festival Cities Alliance is hosted by the City of Galway.

14.30 – 17.00      EFFE Hubs and Collective and Affiliate Members meeting (by invitation only)

17.30                     Farewell aperitif at Galway bay followed by dinner at Claregalway Castle (for EFA Members only)

Thursday, 30 April 2020 - For EFA Members only

10.15 – 12.30      Guided bus tour of the County Galway

Get to know the regional beauties and some hidden gems of the County Galway in a guided bus tour by our host Colm Croffy, AOIFE Executive Director.

The EFA Arts Festivals Summit 2020 is hosted and co-organized with AOIFE

With the support of