Awards for Top 12 Festivals in Europe Announced
250 festival representatives from across Europe gathered in Paris on 27 September for the announcement of the first ever EFFE Awards. An International Jury, presided over by Vincent Baudriller, Director of Théâtre Vidy in Lausanne, rewarded 12 of the most trend-setting European festivals of this year from a pool of 760 festivals from 31 countries.
Culture is what brings Europeans together – across geographic, political and economic lines – in good times and in times of division. Many of the EU’s most popular initiatives are culture-based. Festivals are fast becoming the most popular way to experience culture in Europe, with attendance that has grown drastically over the last decade.
250 leading personalities gathered to celebrate the 12 winners of the EFFE Awards 2015-2016, and the art that brings millions of people together each year at Europe’s thousands of festivals. EFFE’s International Jury, international experts, with expertise from Aachen to Zagreb via New York gave out the awards to honour Europe's agenda-setting festivals.
The event took place at the Théâtre de la Ville as part of the Festival d’Automne à Paris’ programme and is part of the EFFE – Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe project initiated by the European Festivals Association. The 2015-2016 awards were sponsored by the Google Cultural Institute.
The jury’s decision was built on months of hard work by the hubs and experts who have pulled together a definitive list of their country's festival offerings, from world-renowned dates in the cultural calendar, to eclectic events known only to switched-on insiders.
Members of the jury said “It has been an enormous pleasure and a privilege for the jury to discover the breadth and ambition of the European festival circuit. We are glad to see that ten countries from across Europe and a wide spectrum of artistic disciplines were represented in the final selection of the 12 award winners.”
The EFFE Festival Awards and Labels are the only platform to celebrate festivals from diverse genres and countries and to bring them closer to audiences across Europe. These festivals enrich the lives of citizens in communities far and wide and on top generate billions of euros for local economies across Europe each year.
And The Winners Are…
- Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria)
- Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Aix-en-Provence, France)
- BIG BANG (Antwerp, Belgium; festival takes place in 11 cities across Europe)
- Malta Festival Poznań (Poznań, Poland)
- Midnight Sun Film Festival (Sodankylä, Finland)
- Manifesta (Amsterdam, Netherlands; location of festival changes with each edition)
- NEXT (Lille, France/Kortrijk, Belgium (Flanders)/Tournai, Belgium (Wallonia))
- Noorderzon Performing Arts Festival (Groningen, Netherlands)
- Perforations Festival (Zagreb/Rijeka/Dubrovnik, Croatia)
- Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space (Prague, Czech Republic)
- Santarcangelo Festival Internazionale del teatro in Piazza (Santarcangelo di Romagna, Italy)
- SICK! (Brighton/Manchester, United Kingdom
As a global digital expert, the Google Cultural Institute offered EFFE to help to increase festivals’ exposure and their use of digital tools. We are proud to present 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 features images and video that track the development of festivals in Europe from a post-war peace building effort to the multi-disciplinary and experimental festivals of today. The 12 Award recipients are all featured, giving audiences a more in-depth and experiential look at what festivals are doing in Europe today.
[Go green] Porta Ferrada Festival
In 2023, Porta Ferrada Festival prioritised sustainability with reusable cups and funding beach cleaning. Over 24,000 ecological glasses were distributed, embodying their commitment to environmental responsibility and community engagement.
[Go green] Rock for People Festival
In collaboration with Komerční banka, it was created the KB FutureFest 2030 zone at Rock for People, highlighting a sustainable festival vision with solar/hydrogen-powered stages, eco-friendly materials, and discussions on sustainability.
[Go Green] Medieval Festival of Rhodes
The Medieval Rose Festival offers a living history experience, transporting participants to an era with sustainable practices like creative recycling and minimal waste. Emphasising experiential archaeology, the event promotes eco-friendly concepts, from reusable ceramic cups to minimal electricity usage, fostering a connection between medieval lifestyles and contemporary sustainability.