EFA is launching the European Atelier for young festival managers 2006

24 February 2006

'Car le vrai rôle d'un festival est d'aider les artistes à oser, à entreprendre des projets, …' (Bernard Faivre d'Arcier) - this is the guideline for the first edition of the ‘European Atelier for young festival managers 2006’, launched by the European Festivals Association in co-operation with Theorem, Dartington International Summer School and the Felix Meritis Foundation in Amsterdam. Outstanding top professionals such as Gerard Mortier, Director of the Opéra National de Paris, former General Director of the Salzburger Festspiele and first Intendant of the RuhrTriennale, Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, former longstanding Director of the Festival d’Avignon, Rose Fenton, co-founder of LIFT – London International Theatre Festival and Brian McMaster, longstanding Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, confirmed their participation as did Nele Hertling, spokeswoman of the Berliner Konferenz and Director of the “Berlin Artist Program” of the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), Gavin Henderson, Principal of Trinity College of Music in London, Artistic Director of the Dartington International Summer School and former EFA President, Darko Brlek, EFA President and Artistic and Managing Director of the Ljubljana Festival, Tom Stromberg, Director art programme of the EXPO Hannover 2000, Prof. Dr. Matthias Theodor Vogt, Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz, Steve Austen, initiator of many international cultural projects, institutions and of the Felix Meritis Foundation who also teaches at the Amsterdam/Maastricht Summer University, among others. The essence of a festival is the artistic production in an international environment, but does our young generation of artistic directors have the know-how to follow on this statement? Doubts are reasonable and at the same time bizarre considering the boom of festivals we witnessed throughout the last decades. Therefore, EFA offers the opportunity to 40 young festival managers to meet for five days and work in topic-based working groups, attend lectures and debates, learn from case studies and implement practical activities. In a longer perspective the European Atelier initiative seeks to give a first incentive to the creation of a new “European festival management” master in Europe. The first edition takes place in the beautiful city of Görlitz (currently bidding - together with the Polish city Zgorzelec - for the title “European Capital of Culture” 2010, a city of symbolic importance at the border to Poland) from 15 until 21 May 2006, in co-operation with the Institut für kulturelle Instrastruktur Sachsen (IKS). For more information please read the “Call for interest” which is available in English, French and German on the EFA website. Apart from this highlight, the European Festivals Association has programmed a series of high-profile gatherings marking the intense working year in 2006: 1. It was launched in January with a successful working group of 25 representatives of hundreds of European festivals assembled in national festivals associations who gathered in Rome (at the invitation of Italiafestival) on the importance of co-operation among festivals and the transfer of know-how from the cultural to the academic world. 2. The year will roll on with the annual General Assembly in Luxembourg from 15 until 18 June at the invitation of the Echternach Festival and the Festival of Wiltz, this year with one major innovation: for the first time, non-members are invited to attend the one-day conference on Friday, 16 June, focusing on the co-operation between 'the media and festivals - Festivals as a communication and marketing tool for newspapers, newspapers as a communication and marketing tool for festivals'. Major European newspapers are invited to contribute to the discussion. The meeting will be opened by no one less than Mrs Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information society and Media. 3. The “Gent Forum - Denis de Rougemont meeting” on the 8th of September 2006, in co-operation with the University of Gent and the Flanders Festival will address questions related to the emerging European citizenship and the role festivals might have in this context. These considerations refer back to the roots of EFA and its founder, Denis de Rougemont, who celebrates his 100th anniversary on the 8th of September 2006; reason enough to re-think his approach to European integration based on citizens’ participation and social cohesion. 4. The Ars Nova workshop on New Music in turn is a platform to set up co-operation projects between cultural operators and initiatives in the contemporary music and festivals programming new music. The next edition will be held in Oslo on 6, 7 and 8 October 2006 in the framework of the ULTIMA music festival. For updates and news on the various initiatives, please visit our new website at, write us an email or call us.