Step on stage at Europe’s leading festivals

1 December 2015

Tuesday, 1 December 2015: The European Festivals Association (EFA), its festival platform – EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, and the Google Cultural Institute are inviting people to a unique interactive experience of performing arts, drama, dance, music, opera and more. Opening today, a new online exhibition platform - a partnership between Google and over 60 of the world’s foremost cultural institutions - will enable web users to step into the theater or out onto the street and mingle with the likes of leading festivals from across Europe.

In this first of its kind exhibition platform, viewers can navigate in 360-degree videos of performances, which give the experience of being on the stage shoulder-to-shoulder with artists as they perform. Panoramic Street View imagery gives all-access backstage pass to users, who can peek behind the curtains of iconic venues such as the Carnegie Hall, the Berlin Philharmonic and Opera Garnier in Paris, before browsing over a 150 interactive stories to learn about the shows, the stars and the world behind the scenes -

As a global digital expert, the Google Cultural Institute offered to help EFA and its project EFFE to increase festivals’ exposure and the opportunity to develop their use of digital tools.

Today, two online exhibitions are launched by EFA and EFFE. The first, Festivals: the Heart of Europe, takes users through an interactive tour of the development of festivals in Europe from a post-war peace building effort to the multi-disciplinary and experimental festivals of today. The second exhibition, EFFE Awards 2015-2016: 12 Trendsetting Festivals from across Europe, includes images and videos of performing and visual arts that were programmed by 12 award-winning festivals in Europe. This exhibition will allow audiences around the world access to artistic creation of top festivals today with videos and images of performances as well as behind the scenes footage.

Theatre and opera director and exhibition curator Tom Creed commented: “It’s a really exciting time for festivals, they are increasingly playing a vital role in the cultural and civic life of Europe. This collaboration between Google Cultural Institute and EFFE is a great opportunity to bring these festivals to wider attention, and to create a platform for festivals and other performing arts organisations to communicate their achievements around the world.”

The Google Cultural Institute works together with over 900 organisations to bring the world’s cultural treasures to the fingertips of Internet users and builds tools that allow cultural institutions to share more of their art and heritage with audiences beyond their walls.

For this exhibition of performing arts institutions from over 20 countries created over a hundred interactive stories, sharing a total of 8000 photos, videos and other documents online in collaboration with Google. The latest innovations in tech help bring the magic of these legendary venues to life, and give everyone a chance to feel the excitement of standing center stage.

Amit Sood, Director of the Google Cultural Institute, commented: “We are delighted to collaborate with so many of the world’s renowned performing arts institutions, representing the best in drama, dance, music, and opera. For the first time, they’ve been brought together in one virtual space. Our goal is to open up performing arts to all, to catch the eye of the curious and offer access to details that even die-hard fans have never seen before.”

The new online exhibition platform opens today at and on the Google Cultural Institute website and is available for anyone on mobiles, tablets and desktop computers.