Poland’s Poznań-based Malta Festival, which features prominently in our latest issue of IAM, is among a number of forward-thinking organisations that have just become part of a prestigious new festival elite by being awarded the new EFFE Label seal of approval.
Following a call-out for applications by the European Festivals Association (EFA) and a process of intense evaluation by national experts and an international jury, 761 festivals from 31 countries were selected to be part of the first generation of EFFE Label recipients last week.
The EFFE (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) Label is a new accreditation scheme and web portal initiated by the EFA, serving as a benchmark of quality. A new website linking all recipients additionally functions as ‘a guide for citizens and a platform for professionals to discover and get involved in Europe’s festivals’.
In addition to identifying the highest quality arts festivals in Europe, the web portal invites and enables audiences worldwide to access up-to-date information on – and to discover and participate in – the best of Europe’s many international festivals and arts hubs.
EFA criteria for a festival being added to the EFFE Label platform include having a clear and dedicated commitment to furthering the quality and availability of the arts, as well as strong community engagement, and an effort to reflect a truly global outlook. National experts assess their country’s applications to gauge the extent to which they meet these three criteria.
Said international jury chair Vincent Baudriller (director of Switzerland’s Théâtre Vidy and former director at Festival d’Avignon): ‘We are glad to be able to say that the EFFE Labels 2015-2016 make up the first generation of recipients that stand for artistic quality and have a significant impact on a local, national and international level.
‘The Label recipients represents 31 European countries and offers a wide range of genres and activities to their audiences. From world-renowned dates in the cultural calendar, to eclectic events known only to switched-on insiders, an extremely wide variety of festivals are included,’ he added.
As part of the EFFE Label platform’s future offer, an international jury will also give awards to the most adventurous and exciting festivals. According to the EFFE website, ‘labels and awards will be announced and a multimedia festival guide launched in autumn 2015 at a gala at one of Europe’s greatest festivals’. The full list of EFFE Label recipients is now on the site, where plans have been announced to make the online Guide to Europe’s Festivals 2015-2016 available in early summer.