The TOOLKITS SERIES by The Festival Academy and the European Festivals Association

9 October 2023

In the ever-evolving world of festivals and cultural events, staying up-to-date with current trends, challenges, and best practices is essential for success. The Festival Academy and the European Festivals Association (EFA) recognised this need and, in September 2019, embarked on a ground-breaking initiative to develop a series of comprehensive toolkits.

These toolkits aim to empower festival experts and sector practitioners by providing them with valuable insights, knowledge, inspiration, and resources to address the dynamic challenges of this industry.

The Toolkits were born out of the Act for Global Change: A Global Conversation from the Arts to the World (ACT) project initiated by The Festival Academy and supported by Creative Europe. Since their inception, they have continued to evolve within the framework of the Revealing the Alliance project of EFA, also supported by Creative Europe. 

The Toolkits are divided into six topics that reflect the challenges and opportunities festival organisers face:

Digital Technology

Provides festival experts and sector practitioners access to information on current trends in digital technologies, as well as insights and inspiration for addressing challenges of contemporary digital tools for festivals.

Programming and Curating a Festival

Made for anyone interested in the diverse approaches and challenges associated with festivals. Its main aim is to inspire new ways of thinking, offer moments of reflection, and help tackle complex issues while curating a festival.

Caring for Artists and Technical Crew

Focuses on providing programming models in which festival managers can learn and get insights for working on the care and well-being of artists and technical crew. 

Sustainable Business Practices

Offers access to up-to-date information about sustainable business practices in festivals, along with relevant context, to inspire readers to address sustainability challenges inherent to each event.

Audience Development and Retention

Designed for festival organisers or individuals considering the creation of a festival, it provides practical insights into developing successful strategies for audience outreach, development, retention, and engagement. 

Festivals, Climate Change, and Environmental Sustainability

Explores the ecological consequences of festivals and investigates measures festival organisers can take to mitigate their impact on climate change and the environment.

These topics cover a wide spectrum of subjects within the festival and cultural sectors, making them valuable resources for both novices and seasoned professionals.

Each toolkit follows a structured format, comprising theoretical knowledge, best practices and examples; One of the key strengths of the Toolkits is their adaptability. They are not intended to offer rigid, one-size-fits-all solutions. Instead, they present a complete view of the festival industry, recognising that conditions for festivals vary greatly across the globe due to political, social, and resource-related factors. The toolkits aim to foster creativity and innovation by offering insights and inspiration that can be applied flexibly to diverse contexts. Festival managers and practitioners are encouraged to interpret and adapt the principles contained within the toolkits to their unique conditions.

The development of these toolkits has been a collaborative effort, with teams of alumni from The Festival Academy, staff members, and Atelier facilitators contributing their expertise and insights. Moreover, the toolkits are open-sourced and continuously evolving, meaning that festival and cultural practitioners from all backgrounds and levels of experience are invited to contribute, share their knowledge, and further enrich these valuable resources.

To access the toolkits and join the global festival-making community, visit the Toolkit series website

Empower yourself with the knowledge and inspiration needed to thrive in the world of festivals and cultural events!