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(Digital) Festival Season is upon us!

Festival season is around the corner! Aren’t all of us ready to pack our backpacks, boho hats, and sunscreen for a weekend filled with music, art, and party? With less and less Covid-restrictions across Europe, many events will likely take place on site, however, in the past couple of years we have also have seen creative ways of staging festivals in digital ways that brought the experience right to your door step! The Creative Digital Transformation Map has several examples of that:

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the established dance festival „Tanzfest“ could not take place on site but was transferred into a virtual concept. From May 15-17 May 2020 the dance festival was held online under the motto “DisDance”: Courses for adults, dance and play activities for children, a lecture performance, a zoom party and a flash mob were offered on social media. In May 2021 the festival was held in hybrid form.

Similarly, the last two editions of the Slovakian Night of Museums and Galleries on 14 November 2020 and 15 May 2021 moved largely to the virtual space. The participating institutions developed new ways of presentation of culture via livestreams. It was possible to watch the programme virtually, but during the event in May 2021 also to actually visit many of the open institutions. Besides virtual tours through the galleries, various video shows, activities like sending virtual postcards or online quizzes were offered. More than 100 museums and galleries across Slovakia took part in the event.

In Germany, creative minds came up with an entirely new festival concept: Gedanken Safari Festival is an online festival for individuals interested in traveling and self-developement. More than 40 speakers from various fields (travel, lifestyle, health, mental development, etc.) introduce the visitors to their world. The formats are various – interactive workshops, lectures, interviews, or for example a yoga session. The festival took place from 18-20 June 2021.

These are only a few examples of how events that seem to be invariably be linked to location and actual attendance can be re-imagined in innovative ways. Even without a pandemic hovering over all of our heads, these new ways of thinking can be used in the future to create sustainable festival concepts. With digital solutions such as live streaming and interactive workshop sessions, a bigger, more diverse audience can attend these events, as they are not limited by location anymore. Furthermore, completely new ways of involving artists, experts, and the audience can be included to make the festival even more attractive to all. Is it the same as swaying happily (or ecstatically headbanging) in a crowd of 20,000 people? No. And it shouldn’t be! The beauty of the new format is that you can create multiple experiences within the same event. Need more inspiration? Head on over to our map and see more examples of virtual festivals in Europe!

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