Following a successful digital edition of the Festivals Academy Digital Intermediate Course (January2021) British Council launches the South Asia Festivals Academy 2021.This is a partnership between British Council and Edinburgh Napier University  which aims to develop and strengthen the festivals sector across South Asia through capacity building. The programme is a UK accredited online ‘distance learning’ programme between South Asia and the UK in Arts Management practice for Festival Managers and Arts Leaders. 

This 10-week immersive, structured, skills development course, delivered online by experts from the UK and South Asia (Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India) festivals sector. 

The Beginner’s Course starts on 13 September 2021.  

Participants will learn about festival governance, finance, operations, audience development and engagement, artistic policy and programming, sustainable operation of festivals and events and associated themes on risk management and health and safety. 

In 2019, we led a series of professional development residency courses with access to international arts management and creative opportunity working with various festival partners in Goa and Guwahati.


Course date, time and fees

Beginner Academy will run through 10 weeks

Date  Timings  Enrolment Fee
(to be paid by selected applicant)
13 September to 15 November 2021 Mondays 09.30 – 12.30 UK time  (2.00 - 5.00pm IST)  £150

Fees and funding

Full cost per learner = £550

British Council funding per learner = £400

Total fee to be paid per accepted learner = £150

Who’s eligible to apply and will benefit from the course?

The course welcome all festivals including women led, LGBTQI focus and disability arts (audience, artists and festival managers). Festivals can be single artform, cross artform, or multi-disciplinary.

For the Beginners Course: 

  • Applicants run cultural events with ambitions to develop these in to a festival format
  • Applications by entry-level festival professionals (up to 5 years)
  • Applicants should be promising leaders/founders of festivals of any genre. 
  • Applicants should be promising managers/employees/ consultants/project managers working with existing festivals. 
  • Applicants’ backgrounds can range from artistic and curatorial to management, marketing, business development, fundraising etc


What are the course areas and modules?

  • Business Development: Key components of developing a successful business model and learning through the creation of a practical draft business plan. 
  • Governance Structures: Introduction to models of governance and different leadership and organisational cultures. 
  • Artistic Policy and Programming: Programming strategies and matrix, taking risks and ensuring excellence, commissioning and supporting new talent, building successful partnerships and networks. 
  • Operations and Financial Management: Building and managing teams, choosing a financial model, management accounts, cashflows, and project budgets. 
  • Audience Development and Engagement: Developing audience segmentation, communication strategy, and building engaged communities. 
  • Arts Festivals contexts in South Asia and the UK: Understanding artistic, geographic and historic influence on festivals


What are the learning outcomes?

  • Evaluate the meaning of experience and design examining how it is applied to festivals and events
  • Identify and discuss types, sources and implications of regulations applicable to the sustainable operation of festivals and events
  • Identify and appraise key operations structures and management functions and apply these to a range of festivals and events in a problem-solving context
  • Communicate and present findings of investigative activity into festivals and events operations in a structured format
  • Participants will be challenged in their knowledge and proficiency in festival management in a collaborative learning environment, imparting new skills in and approaches to business development and understand the environment during a crisis (crisis management) 
  • Participants will be receiving an accredited at Scottish Credit Qualifications Credit (SCQF) levels, in line with all credit-bearing courses and degree programmes provided and delivered by Scottish Universities post completion of the digital Festivals Academy
  • Participant will be leaving confident that they can apply the learning to support their festival strategies in their local contexts. 
  • Learning new ways to build EDI into digital products and services
  • Develop a national and international network and peer group

Deadine for applications is 31st August 2021 (midnight UK). 

If you have any questions about the course, please contact –

For more information refer to-   South Asia Festival Academy - Beginner's Level (