The Budapest Autumn Festival to be held this year for the sixteenth time, is now one of Europe’s leading festivals of the contemporary arts.
The festival was established by the Municipality in 1992, as a successor to the Budapest Arts Weeks, with a focus on contemporary arts. Its aim is to present to the public of Budapest the important creative artists and achievements in all branches of the arts in the present and over the past decade. The series of events sets itself the task of making new art known and recognised in Hungary.
One of the major aims of the festival is to contribute to realisation of the concept of “Budapest, festival city” and to reinforce Budapest’s cultural standing in Europe and its image as an important European cultural centre, by inviting internationally renowned productions of new art and presenting its own or joint productions able to arouse international attention.
In 2003 Balázs Kovalik was commissioned to elaborate an artistic conception for Hungary’s biggest all-arts festival embracing the different branches of contemporary arts. Preserving its comprehensive character and leaving a central place to present the “classics” of contemporary arts, the renewed festival not only opened new doors to the younger public but, in keeping with its principles, began to play a new, creative and initiating role in mediating between the arts and the public. It appeared before the Hungarian and foreign public at various venues in Budapest with a new, modern and youthful image.
Although internationally significant music and stage productions now create excitement at the BAF with world premieres thanks to co-operation with major contemporary arts festivals in Europe, or make the Autumn Festival one of the first stages in their tours, the festival makes a special effort to present young creative artists who have few opportunities and to set off and stimulate communication among different genres.
Art is communication. Communication can best be learnt through art. To understand, to be open to the other, to be tolerant, to ponder and respond. It is in this spirit that the BAF has tried over the past decade and a half to dispel the uncertainty and fear that is often aroused by the word “contemporary”. It is this spirit that guides our work and in this spirit we greet all visitors to our festival’s website.