Arts festivals in Europe are almost innumerable. From small local events to gigantic international happenings, they appeal to every imaginable artistic taste.
The European Festivals Association (EFA) is the umbrella organisation for festivals across Europe. Over more than 50 years, the Association has grown into a dynamic network representing more than 100 music, dance, theatre and multidisciplinary festivals, national festivals associations and cultural organisations from 40 (mainly European) countries.
EFA promotes performing arts festivals of artistically high quality across Europe. The EFA website has an extensive calendar and festival list well worth perusing to pique your hunger for great European music, theatre and dance events.
Every year, millions of visitors decide to attend festivals in different regions, coming into contact with new and different cultures and learning about different traditions and history. Thanks to a diversity of formats – from concerts, dance performances, theatre plays to opera, from Off Festivals and street happenings to workshops and master classes, lectures, discussions and debates to exhibitions, from publications to new media spin-offs – to name but a few of events at offer – festivals attract hundreds of millions of citizens from all parts of society.
Festivals have something to offer for everybody.
Today, music, dance and theatre festivals, rock, pop and jazz, literature, film and philosophy festivals, children’s and street arts festivals, new media and even virtual festivals take place all over the world, in both small and big places, remote and urban areas. Festivals show the audiences the jewels of the city or the region as well as the less expected spaces in alternative venues. They celebrate what makes a place special and unique, revitalise collective memory and articulate collective aspirations.
Festivals have amply proven their formidable economic value, by contributing to the local economy, creating jobs and enhancing tourism. These benefits have been measured, confirmed and widely appreciated. Yet artistic benefits are at the core of festivals' mission and their immediate impact is to be found primarily in the creation of new value in the cultural, educational and social sphere.
Today, festivals feature not only the most reputable artists and ensembles but also highlight new talents and surprising creative collaborations. In their creative development, festivals challenge traditions and stimulate innovation, reveal and re-interpret cultural heritage and expand it in contemporary artistic renderings. This fusion of the old and the new, tradition and innovation, passive and participatory, mainstream and experimental makes festivals both an engine of cultural memory and a laboratory of future-oriented exploration.
Festivals contribute to social inclusions and the animation of a town/area – they support the well being and pride of the citizens, the sharing of values, ownership, social responsibilities and citizenship.
Thanks to new information and communication technology festivals disseminate their top achievements and programming triumphs to a secondary, distant audience, even after the completion of the festival event.
Be part of festivals and join their offers!