During the discussion held in person in Umbria and online on 16 February 2022, representatives from cultural festivals discussed their experiences organising events in times of COVID, how the public reacted to measures introduced to guarantee their safe participation, and reflecting on some lessons learned.

Speakers from two high-profile local events, Claudia Galli of Umbria Jazz and Antonella Pinna of UmbriaLibri described changes necessitated by rapidly changing conditions to counteract the pandemic, and even noted some positive innovations.

For example, Umbria Jazz produced short videos about a day in the life of jazz musicians, content that informs and entertains viewers from anywhere, anytime, and broadens the festival’s audience. UmbriaLibri’s introduction of compulsory booking for talks and discussions allows it to better monitor participation and assign meeting rooms appropriately sized to the expected audience.

Andy Fryers, Sustainable Management Consultant and also Sustainability Director at Hay Festival (UK) moderated and shared his own observations from 2020, when online events were still a novelty, and 2021, by which time expectations for online events had changed, and additional means of public engagement were introduced.

SHARE partners from Romania, Spain, Hungary and Croatia related the experiences of cultural events and festivals in their territories over the last two years. The project’s advisory partner, University of Greenwich, closed the meeting with a presentation about behavioural changes in tourism since the start of the pandemic.

What your expectations and attitudes about travel, visiting cultural heritage sites and attending events? We’re conducting a survey and your input will help local authorities and site managers recover from the emergency and build resilience.

Watch the recording of the event:


Chiara Dall’Aglio, Sviluppumbria, SHARE Lead partner
Michela Sciurpa, President of Sviluppumbria
Valeria Covarelli, Umbria Region, Interreg Europe NCP for Italy
Miia Itanen, Senior Communication Officer, Interreg Europe Programme
Andy Fryers, Sustainable Management Consultant and also Sustainability Director at Hay Festival (UK)
Claudia Galli, Umbria Jazz Music Festival (IT)
Antonella Pinna, UmbriaLibri Festival of Literature (IT)
Ines Sarić, City of Šibenik (HR)
Katalin Dudás Kószó, Pannon EGTC (HU)
Ana Paraschiv, North-East Region Development Agency (RO)
Patricia Mora McGinty, Extremadura Region (ES)
Dr Hai Nguyen, University of Greenwich (UK)