The Festival of Europe is a five-year project, with 2022 being the foundation year. It is built on the simple idea that the UK is European geographically and historically and that, despite the fact that it has recently left the European Union as a political entity, there is more that unites the peoples of the UK with those on the European continent than divides them. The guiding concept of the Festival of Europe is a celebration of culture in its widest sense, reflecting the diversity of all those for whom Europe is home. Conceived in the UK, the Festival seeks to maintain, develop and sustain two-way relationships with our European partners, creating cultural bridges between all parts of the UK and across Europe.
The principal objective is to curate a series of events, initially primarily in the UK, around a set of broad themes, for example, music, theatre, dance, history, literature, art, food and drink, all underpinned by sustainability, which aim to provide both a framework and an inspiration for those involved. These events will be brought together under the banner of the Summer of Europe (May-September 2022) culminating in a Festival Finale in September 2022. Together, this Summer of Europe and the Finale, provide the foundation of the establishment of an annual event with a view to a future pan-European Festival.
One of the highlights of our Summer of Europe will be a 10 date tour to major UK cities by the United Strings of Europe. We’re more than delighted to say that the inimitable Howard Goodall will be composing a new piece of music to celebrate our relationship with the rest of Europe, to be premiered at our festival. We’re hoping that tune will be played throughout the UK and the rest of Europe, in bars, in restaurants, in cafes, in corner shops, in playgrounds from Land’s End to John o’ Groats, and from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. A message of inspiration and partnership.
Some of our events will be specially organised for the Summer/Festival of Europe, some will be co-badged or co-created by people and organisations who share its values and some will be smaller events organised at a community level by local people and organisations who want to be part of the celebration. Above all, these will be grassroots events, created with by and for all peoples across the UK and Europe. In so doing, we will build a Festival of Europe. community and a brand founded on our vision and our values, which centre on equality, inclusion, integrity, justice and sustainability.