The Festival Academy

The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), offers various training formats on festival management to young, dynamic and passionate festival makers worldwide focussing on the essence of festivals, the arts and the artists.

A voyage of discovery

Do you care about artists and the arts and the future of the arts sector? Are you eager to confront your own views, together with others in the field? Are you keen to learn more about managing the arts in new ways that reflect globalisation, new technologies, and other aspects of our quickly-changing world? Are you passionate about how the arts reflect and contribute to social change? Do you wish to develop festivals that are sustainable on all levels? 

Join us on a journey of exchange and exploration, guided by experienced festivals managers coming from across the globe. Come and meet peers from all over the world and become part of a new global network! 

Atelier Johannesburg 2018

Exchanging and constructing know-how

The Festival Academy shares, exchanges and constructs know-how on festival management. Through empowering a new generation of emerging leaders and generating new professional opportunities for festival makers, it develops and sustains a network of festival leaders of the future wherein capacity building and internationalisation are key. The training programmes within The Festival Academy are one of EFA’s core activities. 

The Festival Academy considers the art and the artists as the essence of festivals. The different training programmes start from this conviction, but focus on topics and issues raised by the participants: artistic vision, political and social responsibility in relation to the cultural and artistic significance of a festival in its community or region, as well as internationalisation, inclusiveness, renewal and sustainability. 

Atelier Budapest 2016

Three unique training formats

The Festival Academy offers unique training formats for cultural professionals:

  • Atelier for Young Festival Managers: This intense 7-day training programme brings together up to 40 selected young artistic festival managers from all over the world in each edition. Renowned and experienced festival directors from exceptional festivals worldwide guide the participants. The Atelier includes workshops, lectures, dialogues, debates and cultural outings all addressing the artistic aspects of festival management.
  • Festival Production Management Training: This three module programme selects up to 20 participants and focuses especially on production management in terms of realising and implementing the vision of the artistic director.  The training is set up as a long-term programme which explores all phases of producing an artistic work: It consists of an introductory and concluding workshop as well as a hands-on placement at a festival worldwide.
  • Festival Readings: During three days high-level speakers from the festival sector give lectures on their experience in managing festivals. The readings take place during a festival and are addressed at the professional audience attending a festival. Speakers are present during the three days and exchange with the participants.

All training formats create opportunities by connecting local and international professionals, foster the development of new and long-term collaborations, and encourage an exchange of know-how. All programmes are designed in close exchange with the local partner, thanks to which participants get to know the local cultural sector, the visibility of the city increases and local artists are supported. 

Atelier Gwangju 2015

An initiative of the European Festivals Association

The European Festivals Association (EFA) initiated the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in 2006, and launched The Festival Academy in 2013.

EFA has been uniting distinguished music, dance, theatre and multidisciplinary arts festivals from Europe and beyond for more than 60 years. EFA’s 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. 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. Since its foundation, the Association has grown from 15 festivals into a dynamic network representing about 100 music, dance, theatre and multidisciplinary festivals, national festival associations and cultural organisations from 40 countries.

EFA develops various key activities including the investigation on quality in festivals through the EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe programme, and concentrates on working relations with colleagues across the globe, especially in Africa and Asia. The training programmes within The Festival Academy are one of EFA’s core activities.

Odile Quintin, former Director General European Commission

“The engagement of The Festival Academy and the European Festivals Association in allowing life-long learning experiences in the cultural sector is exemplary. These kinds of initiatives are crucial for the further development of a cultural Europe. Nobody will be successful by doing business as usual. We need young creative minds for regenerating and rethinking the future.”