Partnership between the European Commission and festivals for the European Year of Youth

21 June 2022


What are you up to this summer? Just right for the start of the main festival season, the European Festivals Association joins forces with the European Commission and Yourope for the European Year of Youth.

The European Festivals Association unites distinguished music, dance, theatre and multidisciplinary arts festivals from Europe and beyond since 1952. Today, the European Festivals Association connects about 100 festivals and festival associations in 40 countries.

YOUROPE was founded in 1998. It has since evolved into the most important association of European popular music festivals. Today it represents 116 festivals and associated members from 28 European countries.
Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, welcomes this partnership and states: “The European Year of Youth encourages young people to share their vision, meet other people, grab new opportunities and engage in activities all over Europe. I am delighted that the festivals will endorse those objectives and offer the year a cultural dimension. Festivals give millions of young people the opportunity to connect every year: they are the perfect platform for cultural youth exchanges.”

Kathrin Deventer, Secretary General of the European Festivals Association: “Festivals are unique platforms that are in touch with millions of young people every day. For young people, festivals are places for international encounters, for self-fulfillment and the development of their lifestyle and personality. Festivals are often the first stages to launch the careers of emerging artists; audiences are often introduced to the arts through festivals, and the operators working in festivals such as contractual workers and volunteers are often young people.”

Holger Jan Schmidt, General Secretary of Yourope: "In the past two years, young people have gone through an incredibly difficult time with great deprivation. They have been cut off from essential needs like meeting new people, sharing spaces and spending time with their friends. To a certain extent European festivals can relate to that as we had a forced two-year break with great challenges, too. Yet we are infinitely grateful to reconnect with the young people again in 2022 providing one of their most important platforms to network, celebrate life and gain those valuable experiences that will benefit you for the rest of your life.”

The European Festivals Association, together with the European Commission and Yourope, will organise various actions during the European Year of Youth, which will underline the special connection between European festivals and their young audiences.

First exciting activities will follow in the coming days and weeks – stay tuned!

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