Panel discussion at a festival with five individuals seated on stage, stage lights above, and a backdrop screen displaying

Resilient, responsible, relevant – how can festivals become exactly that and resist challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic or climate change? The European Festival Association YOUROPE is already working on a game plan: with the help of its project “Future-Fit Festivals” (3F), the association will provide answers – including a roadmap to greener festivals and a diversity toolset.

If you believe current surveys, music festivals are more popular than ever (see, for example, European Year of YouthHöme). However, the past few years have shown that festivals cannot be taken for granted: serious issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis keep threatening their livelihoods, while goals to decrease carbon emissions to battle climate change put further strain on the resource-consuming creative industry. But how can the industry get – and be – better?

This is where YOUROPE comes in: with the EU-funded project “Future-Fit Festivals” (3F), the association wants to spearhead the necessary transformation of the industry. The well over 100 festivals and associated members that YOUROPE represents, among them project lead Karlsruhe Marketing und Event GmbH (KME), will be at the heart of finding answers to these three key questions:

  • What does the responsible festival of the future look like, and how do we achieve that?
  • What makes European festivals resilient to meet the challenges of the future?
  • How do tomorrow’s festivals ensure that they continue to play the relevant role in popular culture and the lives of millions of young people?

Although YOUROPE is the biggest association for music festivals in Europe, it cannot master this challenge alone. To include the entire industry in the process, the organization will establish systematic dialogue structures to encourage exchange between creative industry professionals, audiences, artists as well as public and private decision makers.

Three central publications on sustainability, safety and diversity

To educate and guide festivals in Europe – but ultimately also in the rest of the world – YOUROPE will create three central publications: the European Green Festival Roadmap 2030, a paper focusing on event safety and a Diversity & Inclusion Toolset. YOUROPE’s working groups YES Group (YOUROPE Event Safety) and GO Group (Green Operations Europe) will lead the work on 3F’s focus topics of sustainability, safety, and inclusion.

During the three years of the project, YOUROPE will organize many activities and projects. Among them are the popular workshops and seminars by YES and GO Group, plus training events on important topics like marketing and communication as well as mental health and wellbeing. The association will conduct several pan-European surveys to gather information on the sector in general and on the 3F focus topics in particular. The results were published in the first-ever European Festival Report, which is now being released annually.

3F results, activities and publications:


Holger Jan Schmidt

Phone +49 228 20 70 80 5


Co-funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

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