LJUBLJANA 2012: Fifth edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers

12. juuni, 2012

Label_Ljubljana2012_ApplyDo you belong to the next generation of artistic festival directors? Do you feel the need to broaden your programming skills, grow your network and get inspired by your peers and experienced forerunners? Are you excited to dig into the cultural and festival life in Ljubljana?

Young festival managers from all over the world are invited to Ljubljana to take part in the fifth Atelier for Young Festival Managers – an intense training programme initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA) – from14 – 21 October 2012. 45 young festival managers meet for seven days to discuss in small topic-based working groups, attend lectures and debates, learn from case studies and implement practical activities.

The Atelier is especially designed for those who are working or have ambitions to become involved in programming or in programming related departments within a festival. Around the leading motto “Car le vrai rôle d’un festival est d’aider les artistes à oser, à entreprendre des projets” (“The true role of a festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects”), quote borrowed from Bernard Faivre d’Arcier, former long-standing Artistic Director of the Avignon Festival and President of the Lyon Biennial, participants develop exciting new ideas under the professional guidance of renowned festival managers. Atelier mentors and presenters Bernard Faivre d’Arcier (France), Robyn Archer (Creative Director The Centenary of Canberra (2013), Artistic Director The Light In Winter Melbourne, Australia), Hugo De Greef (initiator of festivals and General Manager Bruges European Capital of Culture 2002, Belgium), Rose Fenton (Director Free Word, Co-Founder LIFT Festival, UK), Nele Hertling (Vice-Chair of the Academy of Arts Berlin, Germany), Michal Merczynski (Director Malta Festival Poznan, Poland), Jonathan Mills (Festival Director and Chief Executive Edinburgh International Festival, UK) and more pioneering and experienced festival directors (to be announced soon) will share their rich experiences with Atelier participants.

High-level reflexion in working groupslectures and hands-on, interactive exchanges based on papers that participants prepare for the Atelier, informal talks and contacts with artists and with leading cultural institutions and arts houses from Ljubljana and the region create an outstanding opportunity to link insights gained in the working groups with the concrete environment. This in itself forms an important feature of the Atelier.

Deadline, submission and selection

If you are interested in participating in the Atelier for Young Festival Managers LJUBLJANA 2012 and you fulfil the selection criteria (see Call for Application), please submit the application form to atelier@efa-aef.eu as soon as possible but no later than 30 June 2012. Applications are presented to the Selection Committee set up by EFA. Selected participants receive a confirmation by 16 July 2012.


As in the four previous editions of the Atelier in Görlitz (Germany) in 2006, in Varna (Bulgaria) in 2009, in Singapore and Izmir (Turkey) in 2011, the motto of the Atelier is: “The true role of a festival is to help artists to dare, to engage in new projects”. Particular emphasis is placed on the artistic aspects of festival management, including artistic vision, political and social responsibility, internationalisation, networking, renewal and sustainability:


Leading and experienced festival operators, professionals and artists will give lectures, lead workshops and take part in round tables and debates – all of them spending several days with the participants of the Atelier for face-to-face contacts and discussions. At least three of the experienced festival leaders will stay for all 7 days. Mentors and lecturers including festival managers who proved to be pioneers in their work come from all over the world.


The Atelier is a working space especially designed for festival operators:

dealing with one or more artistic disciplines within a festivalhaving a basic practical knowledge in festival operationdemonstrating the ambition to deepen their skills in the field of programming or in a department closely related to it (e.g. communication, production…)proving alternatively that a study course (already completed or due to be completed) is in line with the Ateliergiving evidence of his/her ambition to work in the festival businessOrganisersInitiator of the AtelierEuropean Festivals Association (EFA) – www.efa-aef.eu


The attention to training and the transfer of know-how has been an objective of European Festivals Association since its foundation.

Supported by the European Commission and the European Cultural Foundation, it was created to offer in particular to EFA’s membership a high level European professional training for young managers of international performing arts festivals. It focused on all aspects of festival management.

Taking up this dynamic and the good results, a further defined model was developed: today’s “Atelier for Young Festival Managers”. It was launched in 2006 under the coordination of Hugo De Greef, EFA Secretary General at the time. Since then, four editions have taken place: With Görlitz (2006), Varna (2009), Singapore(May 2011) and Izmir (October 2011), 140 young festival managers will have benefitted from this unique experience.

More information and application http://www.efa-aef.eu/en/activities/atelier/ljubljana/