Discover New Horizons: Symposium Cultural Festival Studies @ Kufstein University of Applied Sciences

03.05.2017 bis 05.05.2017, Kufstein University of Applied Sciences (Austria)
Discover New Horizons: Symposium Cultural Festival Studies @ Kufstein University of Applied Sciences
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"Potential of Cultural Festivals to foster Local Empowerment and Cultural Sustainability"

3 – 5 May 2017, Kufstein University of Applied Sciences (Austria)

A symposium held as part of the course Festival Studies
(Master’s Degree Program in Sports, Culture & Events Management)

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Side Events (in German):

  • Workshop for Festival Studies in Cooperation with Kufsteinerland. Details here
  • Kultur.Mut proudly presents: Science Busters. Details here


By festivals in the arts scene we understand events that take several days and that present outstanding, innovative and daring pieces, often in the presence of the artists, and that offer discourse and agenda setting[1]. Donald Getz has identified three key discourses related to festivals, “namely the roles, meanings and impacts of festivals in society and culture, festival tourism, and festival management”[2]. The first Symposium on Cultural Festival Studies, held in 2016, had a special focus on the contribution of these to internationalization (archive). The second Symposium in 2017 zooms in on the potential of festivals for local empowerment and cultural sustainability.

The concept of cultural sustainability refers to the impact of festivals on the cultural evolution of a local or regional society[3]. This implies a high degree of case dependency: it is not only political and social political frameworks, but also urban or rural environments that provide a special context and challenge. Against this background, questions of human rights and gender as well as the contrast between tradition and modernization offer a broad framework for the symposium.

International speakers from festivals and universities will share and discuss their experiences and research results with master’s students and professionals.  

Lecturers/Speakers confirmed (in alphabetical order):

  • Tanja C. Krainhöfer | Researcher and Initiator of the Studies on Film Festivals, Munich, Germany
    The Berlinale - an unrestricted window? Examining the Diversity of the Berlin International Film Festival (1980-2016).
  • Elisabeth Mayerhofer | Cultural Political Advisor to the City Councillor of Cultural Affairs, Science and Sports of the City of Vienna, Austria
    Cultural festivals: A new success formula for regional development?
  • Szilvia Nagy | PhD Candidate, Founding Member of LOCOP - Local Operators' Platform
    Deepening Participation: Towards a Sustainable European Capitals of Culture (ECoC)
  • Petra Streng | Ethnologist, Innsbruck, Austria
    Festival of traditional arts and customs in the Alps. Ideas and views behind the social and cultural curtains
  • Stephanie Weigel | Director of Sustainability Management, Tollwood Festival, Munich, Germany
    Festivals as environmental role models and agents for social change
    The Tollwood Festival, Munich, Germany

Program: Verena Teissl (

Project Manager: Angela Scalet (

Advisory Board (in alphabetical order): Christine Dollhofer (Artistic Director, Crossing Europe Linz), Ulrich Fuchs (Deputy General Director and Program Director Linz 09, Marseille-Provence 2013), Imke Grimmer (Advisor on Education and Discourses, Goethe-Institut), Stefan Pühringer (CEO Kufsteinerland), Laura Reptschik & Alyssa Wolter (Culture Officers, Austrian Students’ Union)

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In Cooperation with:

Logo Goethe Institut mit Link auf Website


[1] See Elfert, Jennifer (2009): Theaterfestivals. Geschichte und Kritik eines kulturellen Organisationsmodells, Bielefeld: transcript / Filipovic, Elena et al (ed) (2010): The Biennial Reader. Hatje Cantz-Verlag: Bergen & Ostfildern / Valck, Marijke de et al (2016): Film Festivals. History, Theory, Method, Practice. Routledge: London / Klaic, Dragan (2014): Festivals in Focus. Budapest: Central Europe University Press.

[2] Getz, Donald (2010): “The nature and scope of festival Studies”, International Journal of Event Management Research, p 1.

[3] Brocchi, Davide (2008): “The cultural dimension of sustainability”, in: Kagan, Sascha et al (eds.): Sustainability: a new frontier for the arts and cultures. Frankfurt am Main: VAS, pp 26-58.

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