EJN Staff Exchange Programme

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Previous participant: DARINKA HVALEC

From: Ljubljana Jazz Festival (Slovenia)
To: Mai:Jazz Stavanger (Norway)
6 - 11 May 2017


Exchange Report

Within the framework of the Staff Exchange programme, organised by European Jazz Network I attended the Mai:Jazz festival in Stavanger, Norway.

150 volunteers help organise the festival, including the top managers like Artistic Director, volunteer coordinator, marketing, PR, info centre, catering. Throughout the year only one person is employed to attend to the coordination of volunteers, project applications, writing reports, applying for financial support from sponsors. Festival has no premises of its own, during the event the festival office is in a hotel that also accommodates the performers and festival managing staff. The concerts take place at various venues; the astounding newly-built cultural centre Stavanganer Concert House, Spor 5 Club, a former Stavanger place of worship, Folken Club. This year, to facilitate organisation, the festival introduced a festival computer software developed by a small Norwegian company. It enables advanced venue occupancy planning, sound checking, scheduling of performers’ arrivals and departures, and is similar to the software used by Cankarjev dom. The festival also publishes an instructions manual to facilitate volunteer staff coordination.
The festival is covered by the local media, only the official photographer is present at concerts. I spent 4 business days at the festival, performing basic tasks, including assisting staff in the info centre, putting up posters in the hotel, catering, packing bags for performers… All the same, I gained an important insight into the festival organisation, promotion and marketing, which would not have been possible by merely attending the concerts. I am impressed by the smooth organisation and the undiminished positive vibe.

The objectives of the exchange – obtaining insight into new marketing tools, gaining experience and strengthening ties between the festivals – have definitely been reached.