The European Festivals Association (EFA) has been uniting distinguished music, dance, theatre and multidisciplinary arts festivals from Europe and beyond for 65 years. EFA’s members are the core element that make the Association an open, influential, international place for any festival that wants to be part of a bigger festival community.
Being a Member
We are living in a time when money gets rare, when expenses need to be defended and time is counted in seconds.‘Crisis’ is the word of the day. This is a time when the longest serving network of festivals, the European Festivals Association (EFA), doesn’t only offer a quality stamp or a good reputation and its logo doesn’t serve as a mere status symbol anymore. EFA has developed into a professional organization. As such, we need to give current and prospective EFA members new answers about the reasons for and purpose of their membership and explain the added value and opportunities that EFA creates.
This is why we argue for a new approach in a new world, embracing history, community, the arts and artists in the lives of festivals. Technological and global developments, including the concept of mobility, require a new, efficient and more rewarding organization of the festivals’ ways of working and our own work for festivals.
In our new approach, EFA serves as a permanent international representation or ‘embassy’ in Brussels. Many festivals today act, actively or contextually, in an international setting. This setting is served by EFA: we are here to empower the local dimension of festivals within a global development. It has become a necessity for festivals to adopt an international perspective to their audiences, artists, sponsors, public authorities, stakeholders and festival colleagues. This perspective is served by EFA membership. EFA acts daily as a hub and lobbyist for festivals in the heart of Europe and maintains a permanent political dialogue with decision makers. The mutual relations between festivals develop a force that empowers integration. EFA plays a permanent connecting and sensitizing role in this integration task for festivals, which is getting more and more relevant.
EFA is also a club. In a new approach to networking, EFA gives more attention to the personal participation of people involved in festival making. Festivals are sensitive organizational formats that depend on the particular involvement of staff members within the implementation of a work plan. One-on-one or eye-to-eye meeting formats on who’s the hot upcoming young composer, who has developed new business models, audience outreach strategies, short residencies, in situ festival visits, to mention but a few… all these activities are developed next to EFA’s already established annual Arts Festivals Summit and training formats by The Festival Academy.
EFA is a consultant. It develops its new approach to networking with a more efficient use of new technology: the Festival Knowledge Centre will collect information, best practices, impact studies, speeches, contacts and articles and make them permanently accessible – serving as an online library, a news centre and a contact provider. In regular newsletters and an interactive community portal, this information will be organized, shared and discussed with the festival community and the press.
To conclude: the return on your membership investment is not measurable in terms of pure economic parameters in the short term. EFA’s permanent representation in the heart of a globalizing world, our ongoing consultancy for festival makers, our permanent open door to artistic and cultural treasurers and eye-to-eye contacts deliver a continuous added value for our shared ambitions.