The programme was addressed at emerging festival managers or those who have ambitions to get inputs on festivals and social cohesion. 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 guided participants throughout the 3 days.
In societies that are deeply divided by inequality, ethnicity, religious belief and other factors, festivals are increasingly being called upon to play broader social roles, rather than simply provide platforms for artistic expression. This is both because of the changes that societies are undergoing and because of pressure from public funding agencies whose mandate includes the integration of marginalised communities and individuals into the broader society.
Is this a fair burden to place on Festivals? Can festivals contribute to social cohesion, and if so, how might they go about doing this? What are the challenges in playing a role to facilitate social cohesion? What are the opportunities that this presents?
The Online Training sessions offered in 2020 consisted of four courses, each of them including 2-3 days of training (4-6h/day) and an optional social networking moment on Friday after the training. Training courses were topic-based, focusing on different themes:
- Contemporary Festival Business Models - 23-24 September
- Festivals and the Mitigation of Climate Change - 19-21 October
- Curating Online Festivals - 24-25 November
- Festivals and Social Cohesion - 15-17 December
Each session included:
- Training sessions – Two days of plenary sessions per training, each day consisting of an approx. 4-hour 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 were scheduled - and some of them recorded - so people could 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.