In public lectures high-level festival makers reflected on artistic festival management issues. Participants simultaneously gained professional insights and practical behind-the-scenes experiences. The readings were followed by a debate with the participants. Presenters stayed throughout the three days, making a permanent dialogue with participants possible. Additionally, participants attended artistic perfromances taking place for the Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi.
On Saturday 13 February, Monique Veaute, the President of the Fondazione Romaeuropa, talked about the constructive relation between artistic heritage and contemporary art, discussing to what extent festivals support and foster artistic creation and how to ensure authenticity in a city overwhelmed with tourists. She also touched on engaging the public in an international creation of high standard.
On Sunday 14 February, Jelle Dierickx, Artistic Coordinator for German’s Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, discussed how to present classical music in a festival, how to be exceptional in a city or region with a mass of cultural presentation, and the influence of the local situation on a festival.
On Monday 15 February, Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, the President of the Lyon Biennial and the Vice President of the Threatre de la Ville de Paris, spoke about the importance of the Avignon Festival in the history of European festivals, art and culture since 1945 and discussed the importance of festivals for contemporary art and artistic creation, the future of festivals, and the role of festivals in global artistic developments and collaborations.
Hugo De Greef moderated the sessions.
Participants also enjoyed a variety of other events, including:
- access to the Press Club, a gathering of leading journalists to discuss key cultural questions
- Opening Gala Concert
- 'Faces of Shakespeare' musical dramatic composition
- 'Immortal Swan' Gala Concert in honour of Anna Pavlova's anniversary (1881-1931)
- 'The Classics and Classics' concert of Georgian music
Festival Readings are organised in the framework of a festival or a special cultural event of a theatre, city, region, etc. with high cultural vibrancy and value. Festival Readings consist preferably of participants coming from the region where the event takes place (the neighbouring countries, the region, the city etc.). The aim is to focus as concretely as possible on the reality of a certain region itself.