Festivals in Focus

Festivals in Focus

Festivals in Focus

Festivals in Focus


The proliferation of festivals across the world has given birth to a new academic field: festival studies. Before his premature death Dragan Klaic was the greatest early authority of this discipline. Festivals in Focus contains the last essays which Klaic composed as introductory chapters for a collected volume on festivals. The four essays display the author's sharp critical ability and raise stimulating questions about cultural festivals not just in Europe but worldwide. Klaic succinctly addresses the historical evolution of festivals, as well as their types, contents and settings.

The volume includes an introduction by Christopher Maughan and Franco Bianchini, an essay on the future of festivals by Bernard Faivre d'Acier, the long-time director of the trend-setting Festival d’Avignon, and appreciations of Klaic by Krzysztof Czyzewski, Anne-Marie Autissier, Lucy Neal and Rose Fenton.



Whilst Dragan Klaic was principally known as a theatre and cultural policy scholar his interest in festivals was long standing. The Belgrade International Theatre Festival (Bitef), which had been founded in 1967, clearly had a big influence upon him. As Michael Coveney writes in his obituary of Dragan: “Bitef became a crucible for the kind of cultural exchanges that Klaic relished …..a bridge between the explosion in western counterculture and the reconsideration of Slavic and Russian classical traditions.”

From 1978–1991 Dragan was Professor of Theatre History and Drama at the University of Arts in

Coveney, M. Klaic, obituary: Theatre scholar and cultural commentator, Guardian, 27 September 2011.

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