On the European scene
The Budapest Observatory is member of the Consortium of the European Festival Research Project (EFRP).
Following two seminars in Leicester and Le Mans, done in conjunction with De Montfort University and France Festivals respectively, EFRP joined forces with Circle, and the annual round table conference of this European network was dedicated to the festival policy of public authorities, entitled Festival Jungle - Policy Desert? Read the conference report. The meeting was hosted by Interarts, Barcelona, in October 2007. BO contributed, among others, by introducing the debate on a set of recommendations to the public authorities on festival policies, the closing session of the Barcelona conference.
The next meeting was held in Helsinki, in 2008, for which BO prepared a case study on Miskolc. For a 2009 symposium in Novi Sad, Serbia, BO contributed with a presentation on the typology of theatre festivals, with special regard to audience development.
Poznań in April 2010 received the ninth EFRP event. The theme was Artistic festivals with a social and intellectual agenda. Here is the report.
On a different stage, BO has taken part in the preparation of the first European international comparative survey of festivals, initiated by France Festivals, supported by EFA , the organisation of European festivals. Whether Hungary can participate in the research, depends on the decision of the still hesitating Hungarian member of EFA, the Federation of Hungarian Art Festivals.
On the Hungarian national scene
In 2005, the Budapest Observatory realised a survey on Hungarian festivals. Information was collected by face-to-face interviews with the organisers of 230 festivals held in the previous year, based on a questionnaire of 66 items. The findings were published in the book Fesztivál-világ (ISBN 9630606097). The summary in English is available here in pdf (502kb) format. The project was supported by the National Cultural Fund (NKA).
The book contained a chapter on the rating of festivals. This was written as a response to the demand voiced mainly by the Hungarian Festival Association but also taken up by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Since then, the idea has turned into a project , with BO involvement. In the autumn of 2009 the programme reached a landmark stage by announcing the rating of 72 events. By December 2010 the list grew to 98 qualified and rated festivals.