EFA Board encourages festivals to join EFA

2 April 2015

On 29 March 2015 in Warsaw, Poland, the Board of the European Festivals Association (EFA) met to discuss the state of play of EFA’s work programme for 2015 and beyond. The EFA Board encourages festivals from Europe and beyond to become active members of the unique festival community EFA brings together. Applicant festivals will be approved by the EFA General Assembly which is to meet on 6 June in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The Board meeting took place at the invitation of the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival, one of the largest and most important music events in Poland and member of EFA since 2001.

EFA President Darko Brlek (Ljubljana Festival) said: “EFA has been uniting festivals from Europe and beyond for more than 60 years. Our members are the core element that makes the network a unique place for any festival that wants to be part of a bigger festival community. Festivals have been working cross-border and multi-culturally since the dawn of festivals. EFA brings festivals together to inspire one another, fosters knowledge exchange and training, helps festivals to speak with one strong voice to shape policy developments, increases networking opportunities, and provides access to information about issues at stake in the festival and cultural world.”

EFA and its members believe that festivals can be important actors in societal development, in changing the world for the greater good, as they provide a platform for artistic expression and bring communities together. We believe that inspired, intelligent, experienced festival directors who have dedicated their lives to producing intellectual, emotional and aesthetic value can have a stronger voice and greater impact when united in a dynamic group.

EFA Vice President Massimo Mercelli (Emilia Romagna Festival) said: “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.”

We believe that such a diverse group of festivals learning from each other, creating alliances, trust and friendship can inspire and empower its single elements. We believe that this group of extraordinary people can jointly have a positive impact on the construction of the cultural heritage of tomorrow. We believe that international collaboration between various regions worldwide is important and that festivals are key holders for opening these doors.

EFA Secretary General Kathrin Deventer said: “We hope to identify more festivals who find EFA’s festival community as attractive and inspiring as 100 current members from across the globe, and who will, based on our common values, decide to join the network of some of the best arts festivals in Europe.”

According to the EFA Statutes, the General Assembly is the formal body to approve applicant festivals. The 2015 General Assembly will take place in Ostrava, Czech Republic (4-7 June). Interested festivals should submit their application as soon as possible, but not later than 22 May 2015. Applicant festivals will be invited to attend the General Assembly which will be a unique moment to meet EFA’s festival community.

Learn more about why EFA members think it is important to be part of the Festival Network; find out why we do what we do, how we do it, and what exactly we do to benefit each single member as well as the festival sector as a whole. Please find the application form and official documents here.

At the occasion of the Warsaw Board meeting, EFA Board members pre-assessed applications and is looking forward to welcoming new members to the Association as of June. The EFA Board includes: EFA President Darko Brlek (Ljubljana Festival, Slovenia), Vice Presidents Michael Herrmann (Rheingau Musik Festival, Germany) and Massimo Mercelli (Emilia Romagna Festival, Italy), and Board members Colm Croffy (Association of Irish Festival Events, Ireland), Paul Dujardin (Centre for Fine Arts Brussels – BOZAR, Belgium), Filiz Eczacibasi Sarper (International Izmir Festival, Turkey), Peter Eriksson (Swedish Music Festivals, Sweden), Ibrahim Spahic (International Festival “Sarajevo Winter”, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Hermann Schnitzer (Settimane Musicali Meranesi / Meraner Musikwochen, Italy), Hanna Styrmisdottir (Reykjavik Arts Festival, Iceland), and Philippe Toussaint (France Festivals, France). This Board has been elected for a 3-years term (2014-2017).