The programme was addressed at emerging festival managers or those who have ambitions to get involved in contemporary festival business models. Participants broadened their professional skills, widened their horizons, and developed new project ideas under the professional guidance of renowned festival managers from all over the world who shared their rich experience and guide participants throughout the 2 days.


Festivals generally survive and grow through a variety of public and international funding sources, private sector sponsorships and box office income. At the same time as delivering on their artistic mission, festivals are required to serve the agendas of their multiple sources of funding in order to survive.  With COVID-19 severely limiting festivals and their ability to serve their audiences and their funders – but also with significantly reduced costs for those that have taken their festivals online – what are some of the contemporary business models being formulated by festivals?  Are these models temporary or could they become the way festival business is conducted in the future?


The series of Online Training consisted of four sessions, each of them including 2-3 days of training (4-6h/day) and an optional social networking moment on Friday after the training. Training sessions were topic-based, focusing on different themes:

  1. Contemporary Festival Business Models - 23-24 September
  2. Festivals and the Mitigation of Climate Change - 21-22 October
  3. Curating Online Festivals - 24-25 November
  4. Festivals and Social Cohesion - 16-17 December

Each session included:

  • Training sessions  – Two days of plenary sessions per training, each day consisting of a 4-hours long session with a break in between
  • Networking – Break-out groups of 5-6 people for socialising and connecting
  • DJ sessions – An optional online party on Friday after the training with guest DJs from different world regions
  • Taking into account different time zones: the plenary sessions will be scheduled - and some of them recorded - so people can see it at different times

Participants were guided by experts from a wide geographical, social, inter-disciplinary as well as cross-sectorial range (experts from foundations, social movements, etc) to collect a range of different experiences and strategies. 

Detailed programme

Find out more about the programme here.