Since October and continuing in November, The Festival Academy has been participating as a co-curator in the Salzburg Global Seminar Program "What Future for Festivals?", with members of our Experts and Alumni communities taking part in this important conversation.
Salzburg Global Seminar: What Future For Festivals?
The goal of the program is "to support the global festival community during these uncertain times by bringing groundbreaking practitioners and disruptive innovators from around the world together online to catalyze breakthrough ideas, actions, and connections in response to the COVID crisis and against a backdrop of polarization, dehumanization, climate crisis, economic downturn, and techno-colonization."
"Festivals have energized communities since time immemorial. Rooted in rituals, stories and faiths, they embody local and indigenous cultures and celebrate deep bonds to nature, land and the seasons. Modern festivals have ranged from intimate experiments to gigantic mega-events, showcasing ever more diverse creative practices, from the performing, visual, and traditional arts to photography, film, literature, street arts, food, light, design and ideas-based, future-focused, eco-inspired events. Whatever their intended focus has been – creative innovation, activism, city branding, wellness, entertainment – festivals have spoken to fundamental human needs. They have allowed us to share in a density and intensity of experience, revel in specialness beyond day-to-day routine, and join – as the German word 'Festspiele' infers – in 'celebratory play'.
But what is the future of festivals in times of travel restrictions, stringent limitations on public events of all kinds, worries about the safety of audiences and performers? And, even if a COVID-19 vaccine is forthcoming, what is the future of the future? How will the festival landscape have changed in the interim and how will festivals adapt and cope with these altered circumstances? These and many other questions will be at the center of our online conversations and discussions."