Pilot edition of new training programme for festival production managers kicks off this week

18 January 2016

[PRESS RELEASE] The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), kicks off a new training format targeting festival production managers this week. Module I of the 3-module programme will take place in Antwerp, Belgium, from 20 to 23 January 2016 in collaboration with deSingel International Arts Campus. 22 participants from 15 countries will meet and exchange with experienced production managers. Elisabeth Knauf, Production Manager HAU Hebbel am Ufer Berlin, Annet Lekkerkerker, Managing Director Holland Festival, and Roy Luxford, Planning and Operations Director Edinburgh International Festival, will share their experiences on production management in sessions guided by Hugo De Greef, General Coordinator The Festival Academy, together with Nele Hertling, Member Strategy Group “A Soul for Europe”.

The Festival Production Management Training focuses on production management in terms of realising and implementing the mission of the festival and the vision of the artistic director and artists. The training looks at the practical side of this process, with special attention given to working with artists. The curriculum is organised in three complementary modules, including a practical placement at a festival that will provide the production managers with fresh insights into the industry which they can apply to their own work.

The programme of Module I includes presentations by the aforementioned speakers and hands-on working sessions during which presenters, artists and participants will exchange knowledge on production management and best practices, as well as a workshop on risk management by Pearle* (the European association representing performing arts organisations) a varied artistic programme, and exchanges with artists.

“Based on the experiences of nine Ateliers for Young Festival Managers, The Festival Academy set up the new Festival Production Management Training to address the specific needs for skills development of festival production managers more directly,” says Darko BrIek, President The Festival Academy and the European Festivals Association (EFA).

The Antwerp module is hosted by deSingel International Arts Campus, one of the most prestigious multidisciplinary arts centres in Europe. This partnership was realised in order to implement the qualitative immersion of the participants into the arts sector.

“It is a pleasure for deSingel International Arts Campus to host the first edition of this new training by The Festival Academy. We strongly believe in the importance of life-long learning combining experience-sharing and practical activities. We hope this training can become a recurrent activity from which many young production managers will benefit in the future,” says Jerry Aerts, Director deSingel International Arts Campus.

Training participants will become part of The Festival Academy’s ever-growing Alumni Network, counting today 335 festival leaders. It allows the participants of the different trainings to connect with festival makers worldwide and to engage in new projects and collaborations.

On Wednesday 20 January, 15:00, at deSingel International Arts Campus the training will kick off with welcome speeches by Jerry Aerts, Director deSingel International Arts Campus, Darko BrIek, President The Festival Academy, and Inge Ceustermans, Managing Director The Festival Academy.
Journalists interested in attending the public event or arranging interviews during the programme can contact Marta Moliz at by 20 January 2016.

Latest news and more information on presenters and participants can be found at the, Facebook and Twitter (#FMPTAntwerp).

Inge Ceustermans
Managing Director
The Festival Academy
Sainctelettesquare 17
1000 Brussels, Belgium
+32 2 644 48 00

The Festival Academy organises various trainings for festival managers and producers, such as the Festival Production Management Training, the Atelier for Young Festival and the Festival Readings all over Europe, Asia and beyond. The Festival Academy was set up by the European Festivals Association (EFA), the umbrella organisation for festivals across Europe and beyond representing about 100 festivals, national festival associations and cultural networks from 40 countries. The Festival Academy and the European Festivals Association thank for their support: the European Commission and the city of Antwerp.