Festivals are powerful communicators. They are platforms for brands, but first and foremost they are brands themselves – special ones and cultural heavyweights with a wide reach. European festivals reach millions of mostly young people directly and many more through their various communication channels and broadcasts. Young people who identify with the festivals, collect memories there for their entire lives and whose personal development we support. Of course, this means great opportunities for festivals, but also just as much responsibility.
YOUROPE, the European festival association, tries to combine the responsibility mentioned with the communicational reach of the festivals by organizing campaigns. They show how festivals can take a stand together and address important issues, while at the same time strengthening the international network within the European festival sector through the commitment to common values and goals. YOUROPE has initiated various joint campaigns in recent years. The first was Take a Stand, probably the most important social awareness initiative in the sector. It was followed by:
- #WeVoteForEurope (2019), a call to vote in the European elections on May 23 – 26
- #WaveOfSolidarity (2020) in support of civil sea rescue organization Sea Watch
- #ImpossibleWithoutYouth (2022), thanking young audiences for enduring the pandemic restrictions and returning to festivals
The association would like to use these campaigns as a blueprint and inspiration for other campaigns to come from the network. In the 3F campaign guide, YOUROPE shows how its team approached the task and went from a fixed idea to implementation. Certainly not with the claim to show the only valid way, but a possible way.
Here we present our approach to voluntary, non-commercial and socially relevant campaigns and hope that this will motivate future imitators to stand up for the right thing with their festivals.