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The Arts Festivals Summit, a meeting point for the most important European festivals

The Arts Festivals Summit, a meeting point for the most important European festivals

Barcelona hosts some of the very best festivals in Spain, helping to making the city a world leader in cultural events. There are also major events in other parts of Catalonia, which is why we would like to draw attention to the upcoming Arts Festivals Summit.

Between April 23 and 26, Peralada and Girona will be home to the 2023 Arts Festivals Summit of the European Festivals Association (EFA), making the Mediterranean a meeting point for the organizers of some of Europe’s largest festivals. With 200 delegates from 35 different countries, the Castell de Peralada will be staging an important meeting dedicated to discussing about the role of festivals in society.

The Arts Festival Summit 2023 there will be a range of cultural and artistic activities inspired by Catalan cities. Artists such as Jordi Savall, Rufus Wainwright, and Jorn Weisbrod will be opening the festival, which will start in traditional manner on Sant Jordi’s day. The program also includes concerts by Albert Guinovart and Cantorí, and a visit to the Dalí Museum in Figueres, among other activities.

History of the European Festival Association (EFA) 

Since 1952, the European network of art festivals has organized annual meetings to enable the organizers of international festivals to exchange ideas about raising the profile of art, both at home and further afield.

Perelada, Girona, and Catalunya as a whole will have a unique opportunity to offer their points of view on cultural life, with the program offering representatives of global cities, people from the arts sector, and organizers the chance to network and to discuss the issues.

The festivals represented this year include some of Europe’s best-known and most long-standing festivals, including the Edinburgh International Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Festival van Vlaanderen, BOZAR, the Gdańsk Shakespeare Festival, the Music Biennale Zagreb, the Varna Summer International Music Festival, and the Festival della Valle d'Itria.

The last Arts Festival Summit, which was held on the 70th anniversary of the summit in Yerevan, in the Republic of Armenia, a country rich in history and culture, demonstrated how the art world can build bridges between various regions, in this case focusing on Eastern Europe’s relationship with Asia.

The fact that Catalonia is hosting this summit is a reaffirmation of its international importance and the growing interest in the world of festivals, which provide fresh opportunities for our artists. Castell de Peralada is the perfect place to showcase the history and prestige of Catalonia’s festivals, and to raise the profile of the Costa Brava.

Connecting festivals 

The program focuses on the importance of the so-called 70-years-On Agenda whose objectives should be taken into account by festival organizers. The association was created in the aftermath of the Second World War with the idea of involving the world of arts in European reconstruction. 70 years later, it must be remembered that culture was and still is vulnerable, and that it risks being instrumentalized by political powers.

Festivals bring together various actors from a range of different sectors: the business community, journalists, European Union officials, and world-renowned artists. And this conference provides the ideal platform for them to exchange knowledge on the current state of festivals and the role of arts festivals around the world.

"Girona provides some excellent examples of how festivals can change people’s lives through the transformative power of art,"says Oriol Aguilà, director of the Castell de Peralada Festival.

Festivals have gradually become a successful means for bringing art and its audience together. The number of festivals in the world is increasing, a trend that is already being seen in Catalonia. And there are more people following festivals today as a result of the global connections of the digital age. For all these reasons, Catalonia must be involved in helping to promote relationships between all those involved in the festival scene.


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