Celebrating Europe’s rich festival culture

The European Festivals Association (EFA) has been uniting distinguished music, dance, theatre and multidisciplinary arts festivals from Europe and beyond for more than 60 years. EFA’s new platform EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe, celebrates Europe’s festival landscape. This week, our Google Cultural Institute announced a new collaboration with EFFE that increases access to Europe’s diverse and exciting festivals through the use of digital tools.

It’s a partnership that makes sense. We both work towards the same goal: maximising access to arts and culture. As Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics earlier said about EFFE’s initiatives: “Festivals are one of the most visible and accessible means we have at our disposal to bring Europe’s rich and diverse culture to its citizens. I want Europe to promote its cultural diversity by helping festivals, artists and creators to reach new audiences and to make the most of the new technologies and of the enormous talent we have on our continent. EFFE makes it easy for citizens to find a festival that interests them – whether in their region or in another part of Europe.”

The Google Cultural Institute offered EFFE to help increase festivals’ exposure and their use of digital tools. 40 representatives of European festivals gathered at the Google Cultural Institute’s Lab in Paris for a workshop with engineers to talk about partnerships and technological developments in the cultural sector.

Today, we’ve also launched the online exhibition Festivals at the Heart of Europe, curated by theatre and opera director Tom Creed on the Google Cultural Institute platform. This exhibition takes users through an interactive tour of the development of festivals in Europe from a post-war peace building effort to the multi-disciplinary and experimental festivals of today.
At an award ceremony in Paris, an international jury rewarded 12 of the most innovative European festivals of this year from a pool of 760 festivals from 31 countries. The 12 winners are all featured on the online exhibition, giving audiences a more in-depth and experiential look at what festivals are doing in Europe today.