EFA General Assembly and Conference 2011 - Varna/Bulgaria, 28 April-1 May 2011

8 December 2010

The European Festivals Association (EFA) held its 59th General Assembly and Conference from 28 April until 1 May 2011 in Varna/Bulgaria. It was hosted by the “Varna Summer” International Music Festival that is celebrating its 85th anniversary in 2011. The annual gathering was the occasion to pave the way for the next years of EFA's work programme: a new Board was elected for the period 2011-2014; six new members were admitted to the Association; and steps for future milestones were set, such as the activities celebrating the Association’s 60th anniversary in 2012. During the platform “Out of the Box” inspiring and innovative projects were presented, aiming at striking cross-border collaboration deals. The EFA Board is represented by a diversity of festival directors from all over Europe and beyond: Massimo Mercelli, Emilia Romagna Festival, and José Louis Ocejo, Santander Festival, acting as Vice Presidents; Peter Eriksson, Swedish Music Festivals; Nora Joumblatt, Beiteddine Art Festival; Zdenka Kachlova, Concentus Moraviae Festival; Pineiro Nagy, Estoril Festival; Ruta Pruseviciene, Vilnius Festival; Hermann Schnitzer, Meraner Musikwochen; Philippe Toussaint, France Festivals; and Biljana Zdravkovic, Belgrade Music Festival (BEMUS). Six new members from five countries joined the Association, increasing EFA's membership to 111 members from 40 countries and extending in particular its activities outside EU borders: the Tbilisi International Festival of Theatre (Tbilisi/Georgia); the Sochi Winter International Arts Festival (Sochi/Russia); Manifesta, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art (Amsterdam/Netherlands); the International Music Festival “A Tempo” (Podgorica Montenegro); the Alla Shelest's Festival of Classical Ballet (Samara/Russia); and the Serbian Festivals Association (SEFA). The platform “Out of the Box – Into the Light!” gave the floor to artists, project leaders and festival representatives to share their innovative collaboration opportunities: co-production in the field of choir music, cooperation opportunities between European, Arab and African festivals, education and creativity, creation of young composers, interdisciplinary work and cross-border mobility of artists were some of the issues tackled in project proposals presented. “The General Assembly and Conference is the most important moment for the European Festivals Associations, for its members and guests from the festival and cultural sector to meet, network, exchange and discuss the state of play of festival business today. EFA's major future activities were discussed, such as the Atelier for Young Festival Managers taking place for the first time in Asia from 14-21 May 2011 in Singapore and the anniversary activities in 2012,” underlines EFA President Darko Brlek. Download the press release here.