70th anniversary Arts Festivals Summit Yerevan from 12 - 15 September 2022

The European Festivals Association’s 70th anniversary Arts Festivals Summit takes place from 12 till 15 September 2022 in Yerevan, Republic of Armenia. Hosted by the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival, the Summit marks a first joint step in the association’s next decade between festival makers and stakeholders. EFA Members meet the Alumni of the Festival Academy, EFFE Label Festivals, EFFE Hubs and Cities representatives for an interactive and inspiring 4-days conversation.

We live in a world that is constantly challenging our society at large and the arts and cultural sector in particular. As we have to re-think our role and responsibilities, we ask: what are our strategies, what can and should festivals do in a changed world, how will festivals define their position within the societies they are working in? Can we influence politics as a sector? Can we create dialogue platforms where the voice of the arts in festivals is taken on board?

These questions and others that accompany festivals in their daily work have been acutely accentuated by the terrible war launched by Putin’s regime in Ukraine. Today, it probably becomes even more important than before to foster artistic activities and cultural work through festivals across borders, as a strong tool against desperation and destruction.

70 years ago, Swiss writer and philosopher Denis de Rougemont and Ukrainian conductor Igor Markevitch launched the European Festivals Association as a peace project, a dialogue platform, an expression of hope and reconciliation. In this light, EFA is inviting for a series of reflections and conversations at its 70th anniversary Arts Festival Summit 2022 from 12 to 15 September in Yerevan, Armenia, hosted by the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival.

We have reframed this year’s summit to respond to the actual context: supporting Ukrainian artists and festivals will be reminded throughout the event.

The annual Summit this year will start carving an approach to re-positioning the festival world in the arts and cultural sectors so that they can fulfil their tasks as artistic and public space players. A series of encounters, conversations and networking formats will involve festival makers, but also cities and policy makers: to speak about the European Festivals Alliance under continual construction. We will invite mayors, cities, business representatives, artists, journalists, and others into the conversation around the power of the arts and arts festivals to further involve European citizens in the construction of Europe and world of tomorrow. 

200 festival makers as well as cities representatives, public authorities, artists and the media have been invited to meet in order to share thoughts, concerns, needs, artistic proposals. 

Launch of EFA’s 70-Years-On Agenda and the EFFE Seal

In 2022, the Summit is a special one as we look ahead to a next decade, a new time, the future steps of the association and the premises of the European Festivals Alliance. Under continual construction, the Alliance brings together festivals and their stakeholders who have the vision and the determination to continue to create the necessary soil for the arts and for a city, a company, Europe, artists to work together and make the most of each other. In Yerevan, festivals, mayors, artists, business people will be present to discuss the 70-Years-On Agenda of EFA as of 2022, which will focus this year on environmental sustainability and the International Festivals Declare Emergency campaign. 

The EFFE Seal for Festival Cities and Regions will be launched in the presence of different cities from across Europe. The EFFE Seal 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. 20 mayors of cities will come to Yerevan to sign the memorandum and engage in working closely together with their festivals. 

Armenia and Yerevan

Bridging various regions – Europe, East, Asia – Armenia is a fascinating country with a rich history and strong culture. Celebrating 2803 years of existence, Yerevan is one of the oldest cities in the world and rewards visitors with mesmerising views of Mount Ararat, wide and imperial boulevards, lively city squares and graceful, majestic (and pink) architecture. 

To learn more about the city, the country and the region’s cultural and artistic offer, actors from the cultural and artistic sector and the arts festivals community will be present to meet European festivals.

Have a look now at the presentation of Armenia, Yerevan, the major sights of the city and the country, the cuisine and our host the Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival.

EFA's Arts Festivals Summit 2022 is hosted and co-organised with Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival.