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   18 December 2012

   adrian tibu

Sibiu International Theatre Festival celebrates 20 years

“Radu Stanca” National Theatre Sibiu officially announces the dates for the 20th edition of Sibiu International Theatre Festival which will take place between 7th and 16th of June, 2013.

The 20th anniversary edition of Sibiu International Theatre Festival aims to continue the tradition of providing a cultural offer at its highest level. For ten days, the city of Sibiu is transformed into an enormous stage with artists from every corner of the world, presenting theatre, dance, music, circus and installation art in over 60 different venues including public squares, churches, historical sites, pubs, but, also, the traditional theatre halls. “Probably the period of June 7th – 16th comes as a surprise since we used to organize the Festival for ten days, beginning with the last Friday in May. Still, we believe that our choice is a good one and comes naturally, considering that mid June is much sunnier than late May. For us the street performances represent an important investment because they offer the large audience an extraordinary opportunity of spending their free time with friends and family”, announced Constantin Chiriac, the director of Sibiu International Theatre Festival. The anniversary edition of 2013 will be celebrated with a gala event organized at Sibiu’s Thalia Hall, on June 15th.

Sibiu International Theatre Festival has been organized for the last 16 years under the high patronage of the Romanian President as recognition of the importance of the Festival’s contribution to the country’s prestige and image. Starting with the year 1999, the Festival has been also under the patronage of the European Commission, namely the European Commission’s Delegacy in Bucharest, followed by the European Commission’s Representative for Education, Training, Culture and Youth. “International festivals such as Sibiu contribute to people's awareness of the richness of cultural diversity, thus helping to shape a sense of European identity. This event, one of the most prestigious cultural events in Europe, unique in scale and scope, has contributed greatly to the development of the region, in particular since the city bore the title of European Capital of Culture in 2007. Indeed, beyond the benefits of the year itself - tourism, for instance, increased by 14% in comparison with the previous year - the title certainly helped make the city even more attractive and better known across Europe. Sibiu 2007 is one of the best examples of the positive impact cultural events can generate on our cities and on our fellow European citizens.” added Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth.

Sibiu International Theatre Festival probably represents the most complex annual festival in Romania, being internationally acknowledged as the third performing arts festival in Europe considering its size and dimensions, after Edinburgh International Festival (Great Britain) and The Festival of Avignon (France). The 19th edition of Sibiu’s Festival took place this year from the 25th May to 3rd June, and brought together over 2 500 artists and cultural operators from around the world, who presented in Sibiu, for ten days, more than 350 events. A team of over 200 persons oversaw the development of the events, aided by the most dynamic group of volunteers in Romania, a community that gathered 500 young people from Romania, Hungarian, Japan, Korea, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and France. The local transportation and logistics for the productions showed in the Festival meant over 40 000 kilometers covered with the help of 25 limousines, 15 buses, 4 minibuses and 3 trucks. Each guest choose to stay for a minimum of 3 nights in a hotel, contributing along with all the other tourists of the Festival to record revenues from the local hotel tax this summer. Remarkable incomes were announced also by the local cafés and restaurants, as well as the taxi companies. Over 21 000 tickets were on sale this year as the organizers reported a 19% rise in income from the sale of these tickets comparing to the last year. The official website of the Festival, sibfest.ro, registered more than 45 000 visitors from 71 countries, of which the first five are Romania, USA, Germany, United Kingdom and Japan. Considering a top five, the largest number of visitors accessed the website by writing directly sibfest.ro, or through facebook.com/FITSibiu, tnrs.ro, kadmusarta.com and turnulsfatului.ro. Also, during the ten days of the Festival more than 50 000 catalogues, 20 000 program flyers and 6 000 posters were distributed. Certainly, the most challenging part of organizing this Festival is the technical production aspect which means a mobilization of huge forces because of the particular dynamics of preparing a show. For each venue over 80 handlers, technicians and engineers worked constantly to ensure the daily cycle of mounting – rehearsal – show – demounting, characteristic to each guest production. Overall, for the 19th edition of the Festival, there were used a sound system of 150 000 W, over 20 kilometers of wiring and 100 tones in props and costumes. This year more than 200 journalists and bloggers were accredited for the Festival. “I think this is a wonderful example of how a city can be simply regenerated through culture”, declared professor Noel Witts, member of the Festival’s artistic committee. The schedule for the events that will take place during the 20th edition of Sibiu International Theatre Festival is now in the last phase of confirmation and will be available starting with next year.

      © Sebastian Marcovici