The role of festivals in the post-Covid era, what young organizers of festivals can do, how academic arts will be developing

In 2021, as a part of the "Festival of Festivals" track, speakers from different countries will discuss how the pandemic has affected the festival movement, how festivals in different countries of the world are going through today's difficult period, how new challenges have affected academic art in general. A competition among young regional festivals in Russia will be held together with The European Association of Festivals during the Forum.

"The festival is a very special story for me," says Yuri Bashmet, director of the "Festival of Festivals" track, artistic director of the Winter International Arts Festival in Sochi, as well as of a number of art festivals around the world. "I am sure that in this difficult time, when the whole concert life is just beginning to recover, it is festivals that can become the leaders that will have a tremendous impact on ensuring that the development of art does not slow down, on the audience coming back to halls. Festivals are traditionally creative leaders in the development of culture in their respective cities and countries. This is also why we have such a particularly respectable line-up of speakers on the 'Festival of Festivals' track this year. Everyone wants to share their ideas, their experiences and, at the same time, learn something new. I am sure that the upcoming 3 days at the Cultural Forum in Saint Petersburg will be not only interesting, but also incredibly useful and necessary."

Festivals around the world are going through a difficult time of the pandemic. Today it is very important to discuss specific steps to overcome the crisis, to realize the role and possibilities of festivals in the new reality, to exchange specific ideas, to find out how to cope with the pandemic period effectively and draft joint actions. This subjects will be raised at "Festival of Arts in the New Reality" discussion with the participation of Yuri Bashmet, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Cultural Affairs of the UAE Omar Saif Gobash, Secretary General of the European Organization of Festivals Catherine Deventer (Belgium) and other speakers.

The organizers are sensibly approaching new challenges and will discuss whether the pandemic can become a kind of a springboard for the creative development of academic arts, and what current role of festivals in the development of creative arts is.

Also at the Forum, the finalists of the competition for young festivals will have the opportunity to present their projects to the members of the international jury of the European Association of Festivals and the EFFE project ("Europe for Festivals — Festivals for Europe"), in particular to Hannah Donath, producer BBC Proms (UK), Patrick de Clerk, Director of Musical Projects of Brussels (Belgium) and many others.