YOUROPE – The European Festival Association

I am General Secretary for YOUROPE – The European Festival Association. YOUROPE was founded in 1998 and is presenting the most popular and relevant music events in Europe – from multiscale open air to intimate boutique festival size. The overall aim of the association is to collaborate, share experiences and to pinpoint areas that would benefit from a joint approach.

YOUROPE was founded in 1998. It has since evolved into the most important association of European popular music festivals. Today it represents 116 festival and associated members from 26 European countries

The overall aim of the association is to strengthen and improve the European festival scene as a whole, promoting artistic and cultural purposes and connecting cultures. By doing so the YOUROPE members want to inspire their audiences, cooperate with other cultural players, and make a contribution to the development of European society.

YOUROPE ’s objectives are

  • establishing an international network of music festivals
  • use of common resources and joint approach to cooperatively strengthen values and the positive impact of our cultural field
  • facilitation of exchange towards experience, knowledge and information (through meetings, conferences and workshops)
  • development of the quality of events of our members, within our sector, for our visitors and to the benefit of society
  • enhancing safe, responsible, fair, future-fit and in all forms sustainable operations of events
  • building capacity, providing education, sharing best practise
  • creation of synergies with other networks active in culture policy
  • representation of the festival scene in matters of mutual and public interest
  • international dialogue and cultural exchange within and beyond our sector
  • promotion of cross-border exchange of musical talent
  • initiation and support of and cooperation in European projects

To fulfill these objectives YOUROPE has established dedicated working groups and created continuing projects. There are groups dealing with health & safety (YES Group), sustainability & green operations (GO Group) and marketing & communication (EMAC Group). YOUROPE also launched TAKE A STAND, the initiative for social awareness, presents the European Festival Awards (EFA) and hosts the bi-annual European Festival Conference (EFC).

These activities are where the international exchange, joint action and cooperation happens. Many colleagues from the association’s member festivals are leading experts in their fields. In these groups and projects, they also work with scientists, NGOs, and experts from outside the industry and make strong contributions towards better and more responsible events in Europe.

Having gained respect within the industry and at government level, YOUROPE has the power to lobby for all legal and industry issues relating to the European festival scene, and in conjunction with other associations in the live music business and the field of culture.

YOUROPE also focuses on other key issues for festivals, such as exchange of information regarding f.e. marketing, communication and digitalisation as well as legal affairs such as contracts, riders, broadcasting rights and insurances. For instance, the association launched its own YOUROPE standard terms for artist contracts and a standard agreement for public use.

YOUROPE ‘s membership stands for a multi-million audience and an even bigger outreach. We are happy to provide the places of identification especially for the young generation of Europeans and the stages where European talents develop in respected and successful artists.