2013 EFA General Assembly to welcome 145 delegates from 35 countries representing 62 festivals

16 April 2013

The 2013 General Assembly & Conference of the European Festivals Association takes place from 18-21 April in Granada, Spain. It is hosted by the Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada. “It is the opportunity for 145 delegates from 35 countries representing 62 festivals to meet peer colleagues, to exchange on what is at stake in the world of festivals all over Europe and beyond, to identify festivals’ contributions to today’s world, and to have an inspiring time,” says EFA President Darko Brlek. Three days of exchanges and cultural highlights The 3-day programme includes many highlights such as: the launch of The Festival Academy, working sessions to discuss issues at heart of the festival business, in particular artistic co-productions and cross-border collaboration; a “Café Europa”; the formal General Assembly including Presidential Elections; a meeting of the Working Group of communications experts; an ARS NOVA meeting; and a diverse cultural programme. “The International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada is honoured indeed to host the General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) in Granada this year. The Granada Festival was the first Spanish member to join this prestigious cultural association to which it has belonged since 1955, thereby proving from the start its truly evident international vocation which we wish to further strengthen with this meeting,” stresses Diego Martinez, Director International Festival of Music and Dance of Granada. Official Opening at the Alhambra with launch of The Festival Academy and cocktail dinner The programme of the opening ceremony on 18 April will include welcome speeches by María José Sánchez (Delegate Regional Government and Vice President Milenio de Granada 2013), Santiago Pérez López (Representative from the Spanish Government), and José Torres Hurtado (Mayor City of Granada); as well as Diego Martínez, Director Granada Festival, and Darko Brlek, EFA President. EFA members will meet invited guests from the cultural and political sectors. Engaging for the next generation of festival leaders During the Opening of the 2013 General Assembly, The Festival Academy will be launched: the organisation set up for the implementation of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers. The launch will also be the moment to present a new e-publication entitled “Serving Artists Serves the Public”, jointly launched by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the European Festivals Association (EFA). The book talks about the opportunities and challenges of programming arts festivals in Asia and Europe. The compilation of 13 articles on various facets of managing arts festivals is a follow-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers held in May 2011 in Singapore. Same time, different location: the European Music Council’s Youth Committee will host a Youth Day ahead of the European Forum on Music on 18 April. The event entitled “Bridging the gap from education and training to employment” is open to young people working in all fields of music, from administration through to project management and performing. “Festival Life 2013” with breakout sessions on various topics On Friday 19 April 2013, the Granada Festival, in collaboration with EFA, will organise an exchange under the motto “Festival Life 2013”. Topics discussed include: Festivals and Artistic Collaboration; Festivals and Cultural Heritage; or Festivals and Sponsoring. One of EFA’s key missions is to offer a platform for exchange on artistic cooperation. This session on “Festivals and Artistic Collaboration”, moderated by Piotr Turkiewicz, Wratislavia Cantans Festival, invites participants to present cooperation proposals in the field of music: projects for choirs, young composers, music days etc. It is. The session on “Festivals and Cultural Heritage”, moderated by Nora Joumblatt, Beiteddine Art Festival, allows festivals who work with cultural heritage sites to discuss common challenges, such as: how to connect tradition and modernity? How to revive heritage sites and how to address conservation problems? The session on “Festivals and Sponsoring”, moderated by Joanna Baker, Edinburgh International Festival, looks at if and how festivals capitalise on their influence and at new ways of unlocking their business potential. It will follow up on discussions held during the 2012 EFA Conference in the frame of the Bergen Agenda. Furthermore, the programme includes: a presentation of the festival research “FESTudy” as well as the meetings of ARS NOVA or the EFA Working Group for communication officers. ARS NOVA, the working group for festivals of contemporary music initiated by EFA and the European Conference of Promoters of New Music (ECPNM), serves as a platform for discussion on new music and, above all, the commissioning of joint co-operation projects. The session will be moderated by Henk Heuvelmans, Secretary General ECPNM, and include a keynote speech by Frans de Ruiter. The Working Group “Communicating Festivals – Communicating Europe” for communication, marketing, PR and new media experts of festivals is a platform to exchange on current applications and recent innovations in communication and marketing tools applied specifically in festivals on the one hand; and to reflect on the challenges of communicating festivals and communicating Europe on the other. The group jointly set up the blog “Festival Bytes”. The discussions will be facilitated by Jackie Westbrook, Edinburgh International Festival. The working day on 19 April will be closed with a visit of the House of Manuel de Falla, a concert by the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, and a dinner. General Assembly with presidential elections On 20 April 2013 the General Assembly will take place and includes discussions on the EFA work programme including the 2014-2016 strategy and Presidential elections. The three working days will be closed with a lunch at La Chumbera in the heart of the ancient gypsy district of Sacromonte and a nightly visit of the Alhambra Palaces.