Governor Jan Briers - EFA's President , President Flanders Festival Ghent

"Festivals are about building bridges between human beings and their culture: on our chaotic planet more necessary than ever before…"

Paul Dujardin - EFA's Vice president, BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts CEO and Artistic Director

"Festivals have always been an important part of my life. Already since my childhood I couldn’t imagine a summer without Festival d’Avignon and later many others during the whole year. One particular event that will always come into my mind if you ask me about the role of festivals in my life, is the 17th edition of the World Orchestra of Youth and Music. I will never forget the feeling I experienced during that event in Berlin in 1987. Back then in my early twenties, I was working in the production of that festival of performances held in West and East Berlin. Despite the political situation at that time, we could already feel the historical turning-point, the moment of connection this event created among the artists, the participants, the audience…. Now, just 30 years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, festivals seem to me more relevant than ever. They enable us discovering the unknown, they help us fighting our own ignorance, they open our minds. Festivals create a space for a shared experience, togetherness and have the magic power of uniting people across the world."

Ibrahim Spahic - EFA's Board member, International Festival Sarajevo Winter General Director

"Life is the Art of Creation, the Festival is a spark of Light in the Game of Life."

Sophie Detremmerie - EFA's Board member, Managing Director Flanders Festival Brussels

"Passion for life. That is what brings us together at a festival. Feeling, bridging, enjoying, creating. Here's to life!"

Pineiro Nagy - EFA's Board Member, Director Estoril Lisbon Festival

“To be part of EFA immediately generated a double centripetal and centrifugal reaction. On the one hand was the immeasurable value that external relations mean for internal artistic life. On the other, the solidarity manifested by EFA members to a small festival seemed to reflect the well-known apocryphal phrase attributed to Jean Monnet… Si c’était à refaire, je commencerais par la culture, choosing a different Europe, less dominated by financial markets.”

Filiz Eczacibasi Sarper - EFA's Board member, International Izmir Festival

"Being a part of EFA, an open and influential international association with a global and regional approach with which we share core objectives such as artistic excellence and internationalisation, means having a reliable companion that tremendously increases our strength and capacity to fulfill our mission. We are very excited to join forces with this major network of arts festıvals and eager to add our voice."

Darko Brlek - EFA's Honorary member, Artistic and General Director Ljubljana Festival

“With each contact I have with EFA member and partner festivals I improve, not only as a festival director but also as a person. One learns all the time, and after 20 years I am still not bored, and I am continually hearing and learning new things. Thanks to the vision of the EFA Board and the Secretary Generals, we’ve become a modern network, with distinguished members, many activities, strong connections with the EU and the Commissioner for Culture. This is very important. Through EFA, we, the member festivals, increase our credibility in our local situations.” 

Massimo Mercelli - Director Emilia Romagna Festival

“In particular in these times of global challenges and changes, EFA can offer a community of friendship, trust, solidarity and learning through its ever expending network of established and emerging festivals as well as cultural organisations collaborating across borders and arts disciplines.”

 Peter Eriksson - President Swedish Music Festivals

"Thanks to EFA’s large network I learn new things, and I see my own situation in relation to others. EFA is an active network that provides a community of understanding and friendship, runs many activities and has a strong connection to the EU. The knowledge and experiences gained within EFA help us in increasing our credibility in our own local and national contexts.”

Pablo Fernandez Alonso - Europalia Arts Festival

“Europalia is a festival that, by its very vocation, is international. Every two years the art and culture of a guest country, in all its diversity and in all disciplines, is presented in more than 200 venues in Belgium and beyond. By joining EFA we finally have the opportunity to do several things: benchmark our activities and compare, in a positive spirit, what we do with what is done in other countries. We also get more opportunities to seek out-of-the-box ways of collaboration with like-minded organisations. We, thirdly, can explore ways by which we can expand our activities in other countries and venues. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, EFA offers us the opportunity to meet with people in our own field of activities, and be enriched, refreshed and energised by those contacts. All of the above help Europalia to become even more international and European.”

Gintautas Kevisas - Vilnius Festival

“It was immensely rewarding for the Vilnius Festival to be accepted as a member of the European Festivals Association in 1999. Thanks to EFA’s network, the festival has found new partners, created joint projects, and represented the Baltic countries in a wider European and Asian perspective. In 2009, we had the great honour of hosting EFA’s General Assembly, during the city’s year as European Capital of Culture and Lithuania’s Millennium celebrations.” 

Selma Yağcı - Mersin International Music Festival

"We may not yet be part of the European Union, but we are already part of EFA. This is a tremendous achievement for us. There are 40 countries represented in EFA so we have to improve our festival every year to stand out among them. We are doing this not just for the sake of our city, but for Turkey."

Elisso Bolkvadze - Batumi MusicFest

"EFA is a great network for the festival industry. It's very important for a newly born festival like ours to be a part of this huge family where one can exchange experiences, in order to develop our own individuality. Each festival is part of the history of its country, and is open to discover diverse cultures."

Kathrin Deventer - EFA's Secretary General

"My main ambition with EFA is to create a sense of collaboration and interaction between the people involved in it; the ones who make our festivals vibrant everywhere, who shape festival life with their questions, ideas, proposals, and insight into the arts and the world. As a team, we are a service provider for festivals, bringing together views and opinions so that they can be discussed openly."

Inge Ceustermans  - Managing Director The Festival Academy

"For me personally these encounters with art and people give meaning and depth to life. The Festival Academy’s training programmes are also a kind of festivals, where we bring together people from all over the world, from different disciplines, geographical backgrounds and generations, to be enriched by each other and to be motivated to work in a continually changing world on the essence of festivals – art and the artist."

Naima Delaere - EFA's Communication and Network Manager 

"A festival is an adventure for me, where many things I care most for in life come together: great music and arts, good company of friends, encounters with like-minded souls."

Eva Nunes - EFA's European Projects Manager 

"Festivals can invest in creation, they can co-produce and co-programme giving me, as a member of the audience, access to my favourite creators and multiple opportunities for discovering new and relevant voices which will expand my knowledge."

 Gert Naessens - EFA's Operations and Project Manager 

"Being involved professionally in festivals that bring talented artists alive on stage and deepen artistic views is what makes me happy."

Laure Verbruggen - Project Manager The Festival Academy

"Festivals unite the two things that give me lust for life: arts, and even more importantly, the people behind and in front of it, people with whom you connect temporarily but who offer you memories and impressions that can last a lifetime."