International Democracy Festivals Association


Our Mission

The aim of the Association is to strengthen the existing democracy festivals, to help other countries and organisers build democracy festivals and unite muscles in the effort to use the democracy festivals as vehicles for democratic change.

The vision of the Association is to revitalise democracy by strengthening the link between a political system and citizens as well as creating spaces for dialogue and participation” Chair of the Democracy Festivals Association, Zakia Elvang.

The mission of the Democracy Festivals Association is to:

  1. Nurture links between the existing Democracy Festival organisers

  2. Support joint projects, initiatives and fundings among the democracy festivals

  3. Support the continuous exchange of knowledge and development of the festivals

  4. Help new countries organise and set up their own democracy festivals

  5. Act as the festivals’ international network and advocate

  6. Inspire a larger audience to be interested in the development of participatory democracy

What is a Democracy Festival?

Democracy is more than democratic institutions and written rules. It is a culture that has to be nourished through the creation of spaces and platforms where people can physically get together, talk to each other, get inspired, exchange opinions and debate their ideas. Democracy Festivals foster active civic engagement, a culture of discussing and critical thinking as a response to the alarming rise of authoritarianism and nationalism in our geographic neighbourhood.


Where Are The Democracy Festivals?

The International Democracy Festivals Association unites Democracy Festival from Nordic-Baltic Sea and has spread out in the rest of Europe. It unites Democracy Festivals from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania and this year the European Democracy Festival in Belgium has become member a new member of the network!


Who takes part in the Democracy Festivals?


One-by-one, all the nations in the Nordic Baltic Region have set up their own festivals, where people of different trades and backgrounds come together each summer to discuss how to improve their countries. Civil society activists, entrepreneurs, government officials, ministers and ordinary people sit together and casually talk about how to make their country a better place for everybody. These platforms for constructive political dialogue across opinions, age, gender and hierarchy are Democracy festivals.

Methods for Democracy Festivals

“The democracy festivals need a room to share knowledge, solutions and ideas! And to build joint initiatives across the festivals” Mads Akselbo Holm, vice-chair of the association. In 2017 collaborative research was conducted in order to gather knowledge and experience on Democracy Festivals in the Nordic Baltic Region.
We hope that sharing this knowledge about the differences, similarities, challenges and opportunities of the various festivals, will serve as a point of departure for new countries to organise their own festivals as well as to organise cross-festivals initiatives.