The European Festivals Association (EFA) is the major professional organisation of European festivals for the performing arts (music, theatre, dance) encouraging co-operation and collaboration between festival managements. Its aim is to promote the significance of festivals and their role in the international cultural co-operation.
Among the 100 international performing arts festivals from 44 countries is also Festival Ljubljana.
The European Festivals Association was founded in Geneva in 1952 on the joint initiative of eminent conductor Igor Markewitch and philosopher Denis de Rougemont, with 15 festivals making up the core (Aix-en-Provence, Bayreuth, Berlin, Besançon, Bordeaux, Florence, Holland, Lucerne, Munich, Perugia, Strasbourg, Venice, Vienna, Wiesbaden and Zurich). The founders were deeply engaged in the quality and social responsibility of festivals. Denis de Rougemont insisted on the urgent need for cultural integration of Europe as expressed in the words believed to be said by Jean Monnet: 'If it were to be done over again, I'd start with culture'.
EFA organises annual conferences and round table meetings across Europe to promote networking, co-production and cooperation opportunities, complemented by its publishing activities (EFA BOOKS series and the EFA Blog Festival Bytes). It performs also advocacy work through the European House for Culture.
The EFA's principal training and education project is Atelier for Young Festival Managers, an annual event for emerging artistic festival directors. After Ateliers in Görlitz (2006), Varna (2009), Singapore and Izmir (2011), in October 2012 the educational programme was hosted in Ljubljana and co-organised by the Festival Ljubljana. The 32 young festival directors from 21 countries worked with eight experienced festival managers.