100 festivals participate in Arts Festivals Summit 2018 in Ljubljana

10 April 2018

From 11 to 13 April, 150 festival makers gather in Ljubljana for the annual Arts Festivals Summit of the European Festivals Association, hosted by the Ljubljana Festival. 3 intense days to exchange with peers and representatives of city councils, tourism organisations and cultural institutions from all over Europe. European Commissioner for Culture, Tibor Navracsics, will join the participants on 12 April to express his support for the work of festivals in today’s society.

The Arts Festivals Summit (Check out the full programme here) gathers a community of festival from around the world with a diversity of sizes, artistic genres, target audiences and artistic programmes. All participants will enjoy the beauty of Ljubljana and great artistic performances during the Slovenian Music Days.


The Arts Festivals Summit’s theme is The [Herit]AGE of the ARTS - Audiences in the heart of the places. Festivals bring together thousands of audiences and visitors within cities every year, creating an added value to a city’s offer and community development. On 12 April, 8 International speakers will share their view on collaboration between festivals and cities to stimulate social cohesion among citizens.

Next to inspiring presentations and conversations, EFA will launch a joint declaration with EUROCITIES inviting mayors and festival makers to join forces in highlighting the importance of arts and culture in shaping communities. All festival makers and cities are invited to sign this declaration here.


Linked to the topic of cultural heritage, EFA also invites stakeholders from the tourism sector. Festivals bring destinations alive and provide great content which the tourism industry can use in their promotion. The pre-meeting on 11 April dives into this topic and aims to explore how festivals can better collaborate with tourism organisations.

Speakers at the Arts Festivals Summit 2018:

  • Airan Berg | Artistic Director of the Festival der Regionen
  • Anita Debaere |Director of PEARLE Live Performance Europe
  • Annabelle Van Nieuwenhuyse | Moderator, Point.Five Cultural Arts
  • Annelies storms | Deputy Mayor for Culture, Tourism and Events, City of Ghent
  • Barbara Gessler | Head of Unit DG EAC D2 Culture & Creativity, Creative Europe
  • Barbara Jaki | Director of National Gallery of Slovenia
  • Carlos Pinto Sá | Mayor of the City of Évora & Member of the Committee of the Regions
  • Catherine Magnant | Advisor, Head of the Task-Force of the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage, European Commission
  • Ceyda Berk-Söderblom | Co-founder and Director at MiklagardArts, Atelier Alumni & studio Aleppo (Helsinki)
  • Darko Brlek | Artistic and General Director Ljubljana Festival
  • Dieter Boyer | Senior Advisor to the City Councillor and State Minister for Arts, Science and Sports of Vienna
  • Doris Pack | Former Chair EP Culture Committee
  • Geert Cochez | Deputy CEO of
  • Hermina Kovačič | Communciation expert and Director Luksuz
  • Jan Briers | President European Festivals Association (EFA)
  • Mateja Demšič | Head of Department for Culture, City of Ljubljana
  • Peter Bossman | European Committee of the Regions & Mayor of Piran
  • Petra Stušek | Managing Director of Ljubljana Tourism and Vice-president of European Cities Marketing Association
  • Philippe Kern | Founder and Managing Director of KEA, European Affairs
  • Simon Mundy | Poet, novelist, biographer & broadcaster of Present Arts
  • Sjoerd Feitsma | Deputy Mayor of the City of Leeuwarden
  • Zoran Janković | Mayor of Ljubljana

More information about the speakers