In Retrospect

The development of skills of festival managers needed for the artistic programming of festivals is at the heart of the Atelier. Participants worked in small groups, attended lectures and debates, learnt from case studies and implemented practical activities. Atelier mentors and presenters – all renowned, trailblazing festival managers from all over the world - shared their rich experiences with the participants.

Roumi Petrova, Varna Summer International Music Festival - Bulgaria

“I think one of the most important issues was networking and implementing a true friendship and trust among us. I think it is an outstanding thing that EFA is endorsing the creation of this kind of laboratory of young festival managers.”

An intense 7-day programme

The intense week included a variety of formats: the Opening Day, the Introductory Day, two Workshop Days, the Papers Discussion Day, the Round-up Day and the Closing Day. Each evening, participants and presenters were taken to different cultural venues in Varna such as the Drama Theater, the Puppet Theater, the Art Gallery and the Archeological Museum, where the evening lectures sessions took place.

On the two Workshop Days, participants were split into three working groups chaired by presenters to learn from case studies focusing on the programming aspect. In each working group, an Atelier Mentor was present in order to follow the daily work of the group, encourage links between the three presenters’ interventions, put similarities and contradictions in the spotlight, and help to develop conclusions.

On the Paper Discussion Day, participants were organised into yet smaller groups for a detailed presentation of their Paper they were asked to prepare before the Atelier - “On the way toward working for or implementing an excellent festival” - with feedbacks and comments by the presenters. On the Round-up Day, participants were invited to formulate a quote, a short sentence or a bright idea linked to the outputs of the week which were gathered and split into small thematic groups for further discussions between participants and presenters.

The Closing Day brought up many conclusions and impressions on the Atelier. Positive reactions on the necessity of such a programme were asserted. A Certificate Ceremony concluded the week’s intense work.

The full programme can be viewed here.

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