On 23 February 25 renowned Festival Directors from all over Europe and beyond met the European Commissioner for Culture, Mr. Tibor Navracsics in Brussels at the invitation of the European Festivals Association (EFA). The Commission and EFA agreed on a continued strong collaboration for the best of the arts, artists and cross-border and cross-continental cooperation. The future European Label for Festivals (EFFE) as well as training and peer-to-peer learning by EFA’s Festival Academy in the field of education, cultural diplomacy and international relations were highlighted as concrete ways of continued partnership. The European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018 is another focus for which festivals and the Commission join hands. Commissioner Navrascisc: “In supporting intercultural dialogue, the Commission relies on the ideas, networks and capacities of many partners. Bringing this diverse range of policies and projects to life would not be possible without the European Parliament, authorities and cultural institutes in the Member States as well as organisations like the European Festivals Association. We will need to continue to work together.” At the occasion of the meeting, EFA had the opportunity to invite the Commissioner to Rheingau to its Arts Festival Summit from 3 to 5 May in Wiesbaden with 250 EFFE Labeled Festivals, EFA members and Atelier Alumni expected. EFA is the oldest community for and of festival makers! It was established to bridge the distance between organizations, to create connections & enhance contacts to serve the enrichment of each festival’s artistic offer & its organizational opportunities.
Airan Berg | Burgtheater Wien, Anna Vondracek | BOZAR, Banu Tuncag | International D-Marin Classical Music Festival, Benoit Geers | NEXT International Arts Festival, Colm Croffy | Association of Irish Festival Events, Csaba Káel | Budapest Spring Festival and CAFe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival | Darko Brlek | Ljubljana Festival, Eyal Sher | Israel Festival, Jerusalem, Fabrizio Grifasi | Romaeuropa Festival, Filiz Sarper | International Izmir Festival, Ibrahim Spahic | International Festival Sarajevo “Sarajevo Winter”, Joanna Baker | Edinburgh International Festival, Koen Clement | Europalia, Mark Yeoman | Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival Groningen, Massimo Mercelli | Emilia Romagna Festival, Michael Herrmann | Rheingau Musik Festival, Michał Merczyński | Malta Festival Poznań, Peter Eriksson | Sweden festivals, Ruta Prusevičienė | Vilnius Festival, Sona Hovhannisyan | Yerevan Perspectives International Music Festival, Zvonimir Dobrović | Perforations Festival
Today, the European Festivals Association (EFA) connects about 100 festivals and festival associations in 40 countries. EFA members are the core element that make the Association an open, influential, international place for any festival that wants to be part of a bigger festival community.
Festivals have been working across borders and cultures since the dawn of festivals, before Europe was a project of unity, before Europe was a space that aimed to facilitate cross-border exchanges. EFA brings festivals together to inspire one another, fosters an exchange of knowledge, helps festivals to speak with one strong voice to shape policy developments, increases networking opportunities, and keeps festivals informed about issues at stake in the festival and cultural world, all under the flag of artistic excellence and internationalisation.