Arts Festivals Summit concluded with strong engagements

17 April 2019

The European Festivals Association (EFA) successfully concluded its 3rd Arts Festivals Summit in Lisbon from 14-17 April hosted by the Estoril Lisbon Festival. 230 festival and city delegates from 45 countries participated in the  annual gathering of festival makers.

Under the topic Senses, Places, Destinations the three days resulted in new agreements for a sustainable urban and tourism agenda between both European and local stakeholders. In her keynote speech, Anne Wiederhold invited each festival maker to continue developing co-creations and interactions with the communities in a city (find the full speakers list here). The interactive website called is applauded by festivals and the tourism sector as a joint commitment to bring the arts to the permanent attention of audiences worldwide. today allows insight into the programmes of more than 2000 festivals in 45 countries.

The 230 delegates from 45 countries present in Lisbon also welcomed 10 new members to the Association (in alphabetical order):

  1. ArtEthnofest (Ukraine)
  2. Cistermúsica – Festival de Musica de Alcobaça (Portugal)
  3. GogolFEST (Ukraine)
  4. IbizaCineFest (Spain)
  5. Medfilm Festival (Italy)
  6. Music Festival in Belém (Portugal)
  7. Musik i Syd (Sweden)
  8. Nasimi Festival. Poetry, Arts, Spirituality (Azerbaijan)
  9. Tchaikovsky Festival  (Russia)
  10. Terras sem Sombra (Portugal)

The Association celebrated two new Honorary Members: Massimo Mercelli (Emilia Romagna Festival) and Pineiro Nagy (Festival Estoril Lisboa). 13 commitments were formulated for the next 12 months, among others the strengthening of cooperation with city representatives and the joint call for the continuation of a festivals’ programme on a European level. Sir Jonathan Mills, President of the EFFE International Jury, called for action in the light of the European Union elections to put culture high on the agenda and continue the successful festivals policy under the title EFFE: Europe for Festivals, Festivals For Europe. Today, 1450 festivals all over Europe carry Europe’s label for quality and commitment in the arts and social context. Find the Call for action document here.

Jan Briers, President EFA: “The European Festivals Association (EFA) and its members have received a strong mandate to bring the voice of arts festivals to the communities of cities and the European Community in times of need to engage in open platforms for exchange and commitments.”

The next Arts Festivals Summit 2020 in Galway from 27-30 April 2020, European Capital of Culture 2020 will evaluate the steps of a closer alliance between festivals, cities, tourist authorities and the European Commission.