FestFlash 3/2014: Detecting festival movements

14 August 2014

“It’s always festival season somewhere,” Eva Nunes rightly says in one of her latest blog posts. We couldn’t agree more. Our bloggers let themselves be inspired by their latest festival experiences, they explore the relation between festival directors, artists and audiences, and look at the role, value and impact of festivals in our broader glocal contexts. What’s more, this FestFlash includes a special insightful collection of artistic discoveries! Enjoy our festival stories and get in touch with us if you have a story of your own to tell!

What I heard about the (Arts) World*

[By Eva Nunes] What I heard about the (Arts) World shares with you some creations, projects, ideas or festivals of which we heard of from our EFA festivals, from the European House for Culture members and from our trusted friends that inspired them, us and hopefully you, as an audience and as human beings. Festivals are always making it possible to give creators the opportunity to develop their work and challenge themselves and audiences to access great original work. This season, our EFA festivals are doing this by presenting numerous world premieres, new productions and collaborating with each other. Here are some of the numerous examples. *What I heard about the world is a theatre piece co-created by mala voadora (PT) and Third Angel (UK). Continue reading!

Detecting movement in Spain

[By Eva Nunes] And it’s festival season! Well, to be accurate, between the many offers in all the different genres it’s always festival season somewhere. Festivals are moments of celebration and coming together, of exchange and awe, of discussion and reflection, so it is no wonder their appeal is so great to both audiences and artists alike. Back in the day when I was working as a tour manager I spent many hours trying to distinguish which piece would be interesting for each festival, which sensibilities would match, which audiences would welcome which form. In the last weeks, and with the news of many initiatives aiming at recognising the vast variety of festivals of multiple art forms, such as EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe (the new European Commission pilot project for festivals initiated by EFA), I was triggered to refresh my memory of the festivals I fell out of contact with, the festivals I got to know and the festivals that no longer exist. Continue reading!

Your artists are our artists

[By Hasan Isikli] “You have a flight tomorrow morning? Close your eyes and try to sleep now.” He looked at me surprised. Then he smiled and slowly closed his eyes. A Polish musician, a member of Sinfonia Varsovia that had just performed at the International Izmir Festival, was sitting next to me. The bus was going down on a dark, silent road. We had just left Ephesus to go back to Izmir city. Before falling asleep I was wondering: “Why do I always have this feeling of attachment to the artists?” After all, these artists were the professionals who came to do their job. They were paid and they performed for the festival audience, and then they were again on their way to another festival. Continue reading!

Time for thought and space for change: between being and doing

[By Kathrin Deventer] Summer is high festival season all over Europe; a busy time for festival directors that is both stressful and fulfilling. With hundreds of thousands of people, young and old, attending festivals and enjoying performances these days I feel it is a good moment to reflect about the responsibilities of festival directors. We must look at their responsibility to offer the best of the arts, to create a space of encounter for artists and audiences alike. They must also be impactful with their festival as artistic performances are curated as part of festivals’ socially and politically engaged programmes. Continue reading!

Glocal Festival Communities

[By Kathrin Deventer] Every festival today faces the need to justify its existence. Festivals exist in a larger societal framework and have responsibilities, just like individual citizens or large corporations, for the development, openness and well-being of that society. As I travel across Europe, visiting a diverse array of festivals, I see they are all working on connecting the arts and the artists with people. They are bridging various agendas representing a ‘glocal’ struggle that most arts organisations experience nowadays: addressing global issues, engaging local communities, surprising citizens with new artistic discoveries and celebrating cultural heritage – all the while fighting for economic survival. Continue reading!

Festival communications with a small team

[By Paul Braeuer] Some insights into ways to effectively utilise communications when it comes to promoting arts, classical and traditional music festivals with limited capacities. Attracting and engaging audiences is a key issue in the arts world. You need to appeal to completely new sectors and demographics but also communicate with your existing target groups. Looking around for know-how on how to achieve this, I have often been confronted with one problem: Many of the best practice examples and common knowledge out there are based on looking at how big players work. But how corporations use YouTube and Facebook or how the biggest and brand-advertisement-driven popular music festivals communicate with their audience does not apply to our work at Piranha Arts. Continue reading!

For more festival news, download the FestFlash 3/2014 (August 2014).

The European Festivals Association’s 2014 FestFlash series brings news from the world of festivals. EFA thanks its bloggers writing for Festival Bytes for their rich insights into the life of festivals all over the world. More festival stories are shared by the authors of the EFA BOOKS series which are available on the EFA eShop.

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