FUTURE OF FESTIVALS – Festivals and cultural tourism
On the 20th anniversary of the Mladi levi festival, our state of mind is marked by – remembering the Gramsci’s maxim – pessimism of the intellect and the optimism of the will. The circumstances are increasingly pressing and difficult for the festivals like ours, and on the other hand, we find them increasingly necessary. Therefore we feel that we have to diagnose well all the pressures on the festival, to anticipate all the problems and at the same time to believe in the power of festivals, in the power of socializing events, where art is used to create transformative moments or states.
Of course, the purpose of anniversaries is to look back, but more importantly, to try and chart the future course of the festivals. What are the challenges that await them, how are we supposed to profile them at the time when almost anything can be called a festival, how to resist the pressures of commercialization, confining to local environment, how to resist curating dictated by financial, geopolitical and logistical circumstances. In the near future, we see two key driving forces in the development of the festivals: connecting with tourism – where we believe in nano‑ and microtourism, that is sustainable tourism rather than in mass tourism – and preserving the position of internationality, of exchange, rather than growing nationalism and populism.
In the coming months, we will organize a series of discussions, lectures and presentations on the future of festivals, and this year’s Mladi levi festival will host a roundtable discussion on the topic of festivals and cultural tourism. We will talk about how to establish a link between tourism and festivals in the next two years, when culture will be at the core of Slovenia’s national tourist strategy, in a way that would benefit culture and tourism, and above all, visitors to art events and tourists.
Janez Leban, president of the Festival Sajeta, Union of Associationa of yound and creative Tolmin
Deborah Pearson, performing artist, co-founder of the festival Forest Fringe
Anže Zorman, journalist and editor at Culture.si and Kulturnik
Tjaša Pureber, coordinator of Asociacija
Tanja Hladnik, Initiative of film festivals of nongovernmental organisations
Nevenka Koprivšek, Alma R. Selimović
In collaboration with: Društvo Asociacija