Friday, January 27, 2012

EFA Celebrates Diamond Jubilee in Grand Style


Brussels, 27 January 2012

EFA 60 Years On

European Festivals Association (EFA) kicks off its Diamond Jubilee at the occasion of the annual round table with Commissioner Vassiliou

In 2012, the European Festivals Association (EFA) celebrates the 60th anniversary of its foundation. Under the motto “60 Years On: Festivals and the World”, the festival network is setting up a broad range of activities. Throughout the year, EFA will join forces with hundreds of festivals and its partners around the world to celebrate, commemorate and in particular reflect on the present and future of arts festivals. On 26 January in Brussels, 20 renowned festival leaders met Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, to confirm festivals’ contribution to the European integration process also in the future.

“Direct cooperation and dialogue with festivals and the Association, the real players in the field, is vital. I greatly appreciate EFA’s contribution. I am delighted about our exchanges on a future EU festival policy and congratulate EFA to 60 years of successful engagement for Europe,” underlines Androulla Vassiliou.

EFA was founded in Geneva/Switzerland in 1952 by philosopher Denis de Rougemontand composer Igor Markevitch. “Together with our 111 members – individual festivals, national festival associations and cultural networks – from 40 countries, sister organisations, and partners networks from all over the world, we will raise our voice for the arts, for culture and for festivals in Europe and the world,” states EFA President Darko Brlek.

A key highlight will be the Jubilee Gala from 23-26 May in Bergen/Norway, co-organised by the Bergen International Festival which also celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2012. The high-level event will welcome around 170 participants, including EFA's founding members, national and international politicians, sister festival networks from Africa, Asia and the Arab world, as well as the press.

The Jubilee Gala will be opened on 23 May in the presence of honorary public authorities from all over Europe and the world and Oleg Caetani, conductor and son of Igor Markevitch. It coincides with the opening of the Bergen International Festival which, in 2012, will offer an outstanding artistic programmation to its audiences: Stefan Herheim, one of the most significant and innovative opera directors of our time, with Xerxes by Händel (guest performance from Komische Oper Berlin).

“We are proud to host this historical event. In 2012, we aim to emphasise how the local, the national and the international are connected through artistic collaboration. The Jubilee Gala will demonstrate these dynamics,” stresses Per Boye Hansen, Director Bergen International Festival.

On 24 May, the Jubilee Conference takes place in co-production with the European House for Culture, the Access to Culture Platform and “A Soul for Europe”. Following the motto “Celebrate the Arts – Transform People – Imagine the World” issues to be discussed include: festivals as platforms for artistic expressions; as stages for audience participation (with new media as one tool); and as partners for the business world.Together with the co-organisers, EFA will set the “Bergen Agenda” engaging festivals in the years to come.

All details and initiatives set up by the Association and festivals around the world can be found on the newly launched Jubilee website ( It raises issues at heart of the festival business today and informs about publications to be released. Together with a new blog, “Festival Bytes”, the website is the place for everybody interested to become part of the activities. For more information please contact

Juliane Reissig
Communication Manager
European Festivals Association
Kleine Gentstraat 46
9051 Ghent/Belgium
T +32 9 241 8080 / F +32 9 241 8089 /

The European Festivals Association (EFA) is the umbrella organisation for festivals across Europe and beyond representing more than 100 festivals, national festival associations and cultural networks from 40 countries. Information on EFA and its activities can be found on the EFA website at

No comments: