New pilot project supports European festivals

A new scheme will promote European festivals, uniting them under one brand in a bid to boost exposure of the cultural vibrancy of the continent.

The project, Europe for Festivals – Festivals for Europe (EFFE), is financed by the European Commission and the European Festivals Association.

The scheme seeks to capitalise on the potential of festivals in order to maximise their contribution to various EU policies, including innovation, social inclusion, education and intercultural dialogue. The goal is also to reward existing festivals for their contribution to cultural life in Europe.

Under the EFFE programme, a ‘European Festival Label’ will be granted to the events that fulfil the platform’s criteria, and selected festivals will receive EFFE awards at a biennial gala event.

The platform will also feature an extensive media campaign, the publication of a festival guide (both online and in print), an outreach programme, the establishment of ‘local contact points’, and an International Festival Jury which will guide the festival selection process.

In April, the European Commission published a call for proposals for a new project which would help capitalise on the cultural benefits of festivals. The Commission received 12 applications, out of which the EFFE platform was selected.

The European Festivals Association is one of the oldest cultural networks in Europe, and was founded in Geneva, Switzerland in 1952 by the conductor Igor Markevitch and philosopher Denis de Rougemont.

It now represents more than 100 festivals, festival associations and cultural organisations from 44 countries, including the Edinburgh International Festival and the Berliner Festspieler.