EFA Members General Assembly 2020

An unusual year leads to an unusual General Assembly. For the first time, since the creation of the European Festivals Association in 1952, the EFA Members General Assembly has been organised online on 25 November 2020.

This year, we were not able to meet during our annual Arts Festivals Summit (a new tradition since 2017) with 250 festivals and stakeholders coming together. Instead, we gathered ‘just’ the core of the European Festivals Association's community: the EFA members. EFA's General Assembly was an important moment of decision making for the Association. It took place on 25 November 2020 and was the first online Assembly in 68 years. 83 colleagues representing 44 member festivals have exchanged about the strength, connectivity and necessities of the Association, its activities and communities, and showed that all together: WE ARE EFA

EFA President Jan Briers said, “More than ever, we are there to support each other and EFA gave us the tools. […] Thanks EFA team and so many others of you, you took all this great opportunity to bring us closer to each other and to give us new ideas in these strange moments.”  

The working day was composed of 5 specific moments, including a series of insightful and inspiring appointments. 


9.00 - 10.00 Yoga for all

Yoga for all or for those who want to have the full EFA day with each and every ingredient we have stirred up.

11.00 - 13.00 General Assembly

The General Assembly included a presentation of the last 12 months spent together, in person or on zoom; the proposals for EFA's joint agenda and development of the organisation, and the adoption of some decisions EFA members have to make. 

We welcomed 4 new members among our festivals community: International Music Festival “Kharkiv Assemblies”, Macerata Opera Festival, Valley of Arts Festival, Sarajevofest Art and Politics.

The Arts Festivals Summit 2021 has been postponed. It will take place from 31 May - 2 June 2021 in Galway and will be hosted by AOIFE - the Association of Irish Festivals and Events. Learning from the past, we have also planned alternative dates: 22-24 November. 

The new membership fee has been voted. It allows EFA members to co-opt a new festival to join and share the fee: 

  • Co-opting member: 2450 € 
  • New co-opted festival: 2450 € 

Members can also continue to pay 4250 Euro membership fee and be part of the future EFA Council the board.

All information about the new membership fee will be communicated beginning of 2021.

13.00 - 15.00 Lunch tête-à-tête

Each General Assembly is also an opportunity for members to meet, chat, share drinks, and good ideas with each other. The EFA Lunch tête-à-tête virtual restaurant offers the possibility to chose lunch mates. 

15.00 - 16.30 4-Minute-Mike-Moment

EFA members took the "mike" to pitch a co-production project, address a specific topic or share their  experience/update about their festival.

Read our summary of the important points raised during this session. 

19.00 - 20.30 Artists' Words and Works

The artistic evening, started with performances of young artists and has been built together with EFA members. Thanks to Festival Castell de Peralada and ArtLink Belgrade, the evening of the General Assembly highlighted the work of 2 young artists: 

  • Spanish bass Manuel Fuentes. He won the Festival Castell de Peralada Prize at the Prestigious Tenor Viñas Competition this year and he will debut at the Festival Castell de Peralada. 
  • Cellist Petar Pejčić. He won the Anna Kull International Cello Competition 2020, in Graz (Austria). He also won the ArtLink Award for the Most Promising young Artist in Serbia in 2019. 

The evening was enriched by a keynote speech of Norman Lebrecht “What classical music has gained from Covid” and introduced by EFA Honorary Member Darko Brlek from the Ljubljana Festival. 

Watch here the recording of the evening session.

20.30 - 21.30 EFA's NIGHT at the Nite Hotel (until 22.30)

EFA members were invited guests at the Nite Hotel to experience the online performance “Swan Lake: The Game”, an interactive contemporary dance show. 

Curious to know more about the performance? Have a look at this page (duration: 60 minutes).

After the show, we shared a last glass at the bar of the NITE Hotel.