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Challenging the need to succeed, Utrecht's Faal Festival embraces failure and imperfection

In a world consumed by the pursuit of perfection and success, a Dutch festival is offering a playful antidote. On 2 June 2023, Faal Festival (Failure Festival) will celebrate imperfection and failure as ordinary parts of human life.

Organized by the Institute for Failure Studies, Utrecht University and TivoliVredenburg for students and other young adults, Faal Festival will feature a diverse line-up of speakers addressing topics from societal beauty standards to the influence of social media. Embracing vulnerability, the program includes a Stumbling Speed Date Cafe, Fuck-It Yoga and a We-Can't-Draw-Either Sketch Club. Celebrities will contribute their odes to failure and confessions about messing up.

The festival aims to dissect performance culture and provide practical tools to counteract societal pressures, promoting a healthier approach to human fallibility.

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A recent survey by the RIVM (the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) among 15 to 25-year-olds found that they're stressed and anxious. One in three suffers from mental health issues, and 47% regularly feel stressed or very stressed, mainly by school and homework, their home situation and 'the opinion of others.'

Faal Festival aims to foster resilience by embracing failure. Could your brand use its platform to support the performance generation? Which tools could you offer to help young adults cultivate self-compassion and gain perspective when they fall short of internal and external expectations?