The Five Churches Festival of Győr got into the circle of the most prestigious festivals, as the European Association voted for it to be among the best 26 festivals. The members of the list were selected from 715 European Festivals.
The European Festivals Association received tenders from 39 countries, and from among all the submitted tenders in spring 715 European festivals – along with 30 Hungarian tenders – won EFFE quality label for festivals. The international jury of EFFE selected from them those 26 highlighted festivals which can proudly hold the title „EFFE Laureate Festival”. The main prizes were awarded to the Altofest International Contemporary Live Arts Festival (Italy), the European Film Festival Palic (Serbia), the FMM Sines – Festival Músicas do Mundo (Portugal), the Gdanks Shakespeare Festival (Poland) and the Utrecht Early Music Festival (Netherlands), as the great prize was won by the Edinburgh International Festival.
„In the last decade the choice of festivals completely renewed in Győr, and by now several guests arrive to the city because of a grandiose event.” – highlighted dr. Fekete Dávid, vice mayor. He added that, this year the city gained a much bigger recognition from all over Europe due to the European Youth Olympic Festival in the summer. What is clear from this prize is that Europe keeps its eye on us; not to mention our other achievement that we have got onto another prestigious list recently, as Győr became one of the 168 European ‘cultural and creative cities’. As he said, these recognitions are crucial when the city is working hard on another project like 2023 European Capital of Culture.
„It is a great recognition for Győr and for the Five Churches Festival!” – said Márta István, the president of the Hungarian Festival Association when he started his evaluation. He added that the main features during selection are the artistic values, the social embeddedness and international commitment, and the Five Churches Festival is outstanding in all of these features. He had a similar opinion about the cultural life of the city; according to him Győr has a good chance to win the title of European Capital of Culture, thus the association also supports the aspirations of the city.
Pál Kálmán, the director of the Five Churches Festival and Borsa Kata, the programme director mentioned, that this prize is the end of one route and the start of another one. The event got into a prestigious circle of events, became a member of such a European network that may provide great benefits for the festival and for the city. „12 years ago, lots of people did not understand our choice as regards the location; however it is outstanding that in one street there are churches of five different religions. This festival simply cannot be organized anywhere else. Since then, the district of Újváros has gone through a great improvement, and has become the integral part of Five Churches Festival.” – summarized Borsa Kata.
Pál Kálmán added, there is no complicated or inextricable message; the festival is merely about love and acceptance.
„In the last few years the number of guest nights has nearly doubled, this year we may even reach the magical four hundred thousand, owing to our prestigious festivals, among others the Five Churches Festival which was recognized by the honourable European prize. We do trust in a successful sequence, and work on strengthening the cultural life of Győr.” – summarized dr. Domanyik Eszter, the department head of City Marketing and Program Organization Directorate of the City Hall.