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An Entire Global Industry Of Festivals And Event Tourism Essay

4242 words (17 pages) Essay in Tourism

5/12/16 Tourism Reference this

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An entire global industry of festivals and events has evolved and developed since the early 1990s. On a global basis there is unprecedented interest in festivals and events – at an international and national level, in cities and towns, villages and hamlets, and in rural and coastal areas. Everyone wants to celebrate their particular form of culture, tradition, difference or similarity with others. Festivals and events can help promote their destination and attract tourists – they can be viewed as a new form of tourism in which to anchor economic prosperity and development. A new industry has grown up around this emerging sector, and politicians and entrepreneurs have also grasped the value of this worldwide interest. The image of a destination, product or service can be enhanced or damaged by the success or failure of a festival or event. (Robertson, 2004). Festivals and events have different levels of operating costs and they fall into both the not-for-profit and profit-making categories. Their purpose varies – some have an entertainment and educational remit and can be used to bring different communities together, others can be used for business promotion. The leisure industry is one of the largest in the UK, worth more than £1.7 billion a week (Family Expenditure Survey 2000-2001) and responsible for 25-38% of consumer spending.

Extending the definition to include cultural festivals and events it can be seen that cultural events have benefits to both the arts world and the tourism destination. Many cultural events are now even competing with major events in terms of economic and socio – cultural impacts. Paul Gudgin, Director of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, cites how the 2002 Fringe Festival sold more tickets and brought in more revenue than the 2002 Commonwealth Games held in Manchester. Cultural events are growing internationally and are significant economic and cultural drivers for communities and host destinations.

The Isle of Wight Festival is a music festival which takes place annually around June on the Isle of Wight. It was originally held from 1968 to 1970.The 1970 event was by far the largest and most famous of these early festivals; it was said at the time to be one of the largest human gatherings in the world (attendance has been estimated at roughly 600,000). Included in the line-up of over fifty performers were The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, and Jethro Tull.

Concerns over public safety and adequate amenities led to Parliament passing the “Isle of Wight Act (1971)” preventing gatherings of more than 5,000 people on the island without a special licence.

The event was revived in 2002 at Seaclose Park, a recreation ground on the outskirts of Newport. Many notable artists have performed since its revival including The Rolling Stones, Muse, Stereophonics, Ray Davies, David Bowie, The Foo Fighters, The Who, R.E.M., Coldplay, Bryan Adams and The Police. It was sponsored by Nokia from 2004 to 2006. The promoters of the event now are Solo Music Agency and promotions. “In only eight years the event has changed how people see the island and the impression of the place.” (John Metcalfe: 15/06/2009).

Aims And Objectives.

1.3 Literature Review.

Paragraph on what it is!!!!!!!!!!

1.4 Definitions of Festivals.

The word ‘Festival’ has been used to describe a large number and variety of events for hundreds of years (Bolwdin, Allen, O’ Toole, McDonnell and Harris, 2006). Getz (2005) definition of a festival is ‘A public, themed celebration’. Smith (1990) elaborates on this by categorising festivals as ‘A celebration of a theme or special event for a limited period of time, held annually or less frequently to which the public is invited.’ Gilbert and Lizotte (1998: 73) suggest that the key defining characteristic of a festival is its transience by being usually infrequent a festival can create great levels of excitement. This suggests that it would be difficult to induce and sustain the same sense of occasion and excitement if such an event was to be held more frequently. Brown’s (1993) dictionary definition of a festival is a ‘Joyful or honorific event.’

1.5 Differences between commercial music festivals and Arts festivals.

Allen and Shaw (2001) propose that festivals can be split into seven specific categories, High profile general celebrations of the arts (e.g BBC Proms), Festivals that celebrate a specific location (e.g La Giostra del Saracino, Italy), Art form Festivals (e.g Cheltenham Jazz Festival), Celebration of work by a community of interest (e.g London Festival of Bulgarian Culture), Calendar festivals including religious and community (e.g Easter), amateur festival (e.g Scottish Amateur Film Festival) and lastly commercial music festivals (e.g Isle Of Wight Festival). Allen and Shaw (2001) estimate that there are around 550 different annual festivals in Britain alone, plus many other smaller local community festivals.

 Shuker (2005 :104) explains a music festival is a large scale concert that usually takes place outside, often running over several days, and that they are an established historical tradition in the UK. Shuker (2005 :105) and Hutmyk (1997:108) believe that music festivals can, Expand audiences, keep musicals traditions alive, and give the performers and audience a shared communal identity.

1.6 Characteristics of Tourism

Festivals are identified as one of the fastest growing forms of leisure- and tourism-related phenomena (Dimmock and Tiyce, 2001; Gunn, 1994).

Tourism is a multifaceted and multidimensional activity that can touch and affect a complex map of other economic and social factors. (evidence!!) The United Nations classified three forms of tourism in 1994, in its ‘Recommendations on Tourism Statistics’. The three types were: Domestic tourism, which involves residents of the country travelling only within their own country, Inbound tourism, involving non-residents travelling in the another country, and Outbound tourism, involving residents travelling in another country.

In their key text Mathieson and Wall (1993) follow the Unitied Nations definition by similarly proposing that tourism is made up of three elements, a dynamic element which involves the travel to a destination, a static element which involves the stay in the destination, a consequential element resulting from the 2 others with effects on the economic, physical, and social sub systems with which the tourist is directly or indirectly in contact, and in agreement with Getz (1997) believe that tourist facilities and recreational opportunities have a major positive contribution to national economic balance because tourism can be a powerful and beneficial agent in social and economic change. However Schendier (1976) warns that tourism is still a highly unstable export subject to strong seasonal variations.

The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people who ‘travel to and stay in places outside their usual environment for more than twenty-four hours and not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited’ (World Tourism Organization : 1995: 14.)

Getz (1997) depicts that the studies into event and cultural tourism look at the roles that festivals and other special events can play in a destinations development and the maximisation of an event’s attractiveness to tourists. Getz and Frisby (1988) and Hall (1992) imply that events such as a large scale commercial music festival could possibly not only serve as a way to attract tourists, but also in assisting in the development and maintenance of community and its own regional identity.

1.7 Characteristics of Cultural Tourism and its reach into festivals.

Cultural Tourism is one of the most important and rapidly expanding economic and social phenomena of the contemporary world Hall (1992). Urry (1990: 57), Craik, (1995: 89), and Leiper (1995: 233) all argue the term of Cultural tourism is not a new occurrence but has recently become increasingly important. In recent years there has been a substantial growing interest in the area of cultural tourism, as seen in many key texts such as Mathieson and Wall (1993), Richards (1996), Gilbert and Lizotte (1998) and Dodd and Van Hemel (1999).

There are many different varying definitions of cultural tourism and one single definition has not been settled on (Alzua et al: 1998). Hughes (1996) argues that cultural tourism ‘tends to be applied to trips whenever cultural resources are visited regardless of any initial motivation’. He classifies those tourists who want to experience culture as ethnic tourism. However, this definition is very limited. Stebbins (1996) writes, ‘Cultural tourism is a genre of special interest tourism based on the search for and participation in new and deep cultural experiences, whether aesthetic, intellectual, emotional, or psychological’. This is a useful definition, as it includes a variety of cultural forms, counting in museums, galleries, festivals, artistic performances, and heritage sites. Terms such as ‘Arts tourism’ and ‘Heritage tourism’ have been used by academics (Smith (1989), Hall (1992) and Prentice (1993)) to try and specifically identify and categorise the tourism that the Arts and Arts events like festivals create.

Mathieson and Wall (1993) believe that the significance of tourism can be shown by scale and growth of new government policies and tourist departments, they suggest that tourism can be a tool of both social and economic change, because tourism- stimulates employment, investment, and modified land use. However the growth of tourism has raised questions of social and environmental desirability for residents of the local area, government departments only aiming to please the needs of tourists and not the locals and the destruction of local resources and attractions.

Issues identified include the threat to host communities experiencing tourists as invaders; the loss of privacy; destruction of the culture that attracts visitors as attractions are transformed into a ‘museum’; hostility at perceived exploitation, commoditization and lack of consultation.

From the residents’ perspective there are several reasons for the strains

to the hospitality offered to visitors. One stranger may be acceptable, but

in mass a threat exists and implies many of the concerns represented in

the growing literature on negative impacts of tourism. Locals seek to

retain their sense of the territorial imperative, particularly at a time of

influx generated by festivals (Leiper, 1995: 240).

The number of tourists visiting a place compared with the size of the

host population and scale of the destination, the character of the attraction

and the degree to which it can be packaged for tourist consumption,

the organization of the industry servicing tourists (small or large scale,

locally or foreign owned), and the economic and social differences

between hosts and tourists all need to be considered by destination and

event management (Urry, 1990: 57-59). How well the host community

anticipates and plans for these is crucial.

Festivals offer the potential, too, to foster local organizational

development, leadership and networking, all of which are critical underpinnings

of community-based tourism development. It is suggested that

the consequence of this process would be tourism development more in

keeping with community wishes, more authentic, thus more satisfying to

residents and visitors and more sustainable over the long term (Getz,


Festivals, events and the destination


Getz’s (1997) earlier work propositions that festivals have significant roles in their locations town/region, they are attractions, image makers, catalyst for further developments, introduce better host/guest relations, and our able to lengthen tourist seasons.

Rolfe (1992) suggests that one of the most important factors that has lead to the popularity and expansion of festivals in the UK is the that the local authorities have sought to capitalise from the tourism and economic benefits that festivals can bring to their local areas. Today festivals are considered to contribute significantly to the development of cultural tourism in the UK.

The arts and cultural industries, especially through festivals and special events, can offer something for the tourism sector to exploit experience (Reiss, 1993). Arts administrators seek to compensate for falling investment from government and recognize their products can add glamour and a unique travel experience that is otherwise unavailable at a reasonable price. Some destinations are precisely in the public psyche because they host spectacular public festivals and events. The Carnivale in Rio de Janiero, the Calgary Stampede in Canada, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Oktoberfest in Munich, the Country Music Festival in Tamworth, Australia, the Edinburgh Festivals in Scotland, and London’s Thames Festival all now define the destination in terms of a festive brand. Some of these festivals have been sustained over long periods of time and seek to satisfy the needs of residents as well as visitors. Oktoberfest started in 1810 to allow residents to celebrate a royal marriage and with the subsequent additions of horse races, funfair amusements and now corporate promotional opportunities, it attracts seven million visitors each September to Munich.

1.9 Evaluation methods for festivals. – look at essay 1 events and festivals.

1.4 Economical Impacts of commercial music festivals through tourism.

The festival is thought to boost the Island’s economy by around £15 million, which festival historian Dr Brian Hinton (2007) says underestimates the true value of the event: ‘It’s not just the money, every hotel and guesthouse and TV coverage.  There’s a huge amount of free publicity.  It’s re-branding the Isle of Wight as ‘cool’.’ Hall (1992) indicates that research into the economic impact of festivals is important because it helps them to be seen in a positive light by the government and the industry seeming to offer economical, commercial and promotional benefits.

Some of the main research that has been focussed on the economic impacts of festivals has come from Gitelson, Kerstetter and Kiernan (1995), Formica (1998), Getz (2000), Harris, Jago, Allen and Huyskens (2001), Hede, Jago and Derry (2003).

Past festival economic impact research has explored aspects such as the amount of money injected into the local community, examined various economic multipliers and analysed the nature and extent of job creation in local areas from festivals (Getz: 1997, Hall 1992).

Most of the research published is from an overall tourism perspective as opposed to focussing on the individual organisations and festivals and their impacts. (Mossberg: 2000, Mason: 2005)

Rolfe (1992) Assessed that most festival organisers’ access festival impacts and success by audience size and attendance because trying to access exactly how much impact has been made is a very complex and non tangible export to measure. Schendier (1976) reverberates this by signifying that tourism is an invisible export industry not a tangible product that can be measured, because he identified that tourists spend money on ancillary goods and services for example transport, water supplies, sewage and retail. Tourism is a fragmented product integrated with and directly affecting many sectors of the economy. (Schendier: 1976).

French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu championed the concept of cultural capital in the 1970s, and that the economic significance of the arts and cultural sector has long been overlooked. Cultural organizations have traditionally been seen as of little economic significance and an underlying resource for education or business. As well as being sources of learning and knowledge, the cultural and creative industries are now increasingly recognized as an economic sector in their own right. According to research undertaken by the European Commission, around 7.2 million people are employed in the cultural sector. Between 1995 and 1999, employment in the sector grew by an average of 2.1% a year, making it one of the fastest growing areas of the European economy. It can be seen therefore that there is a new relationship emerging between culture and economy. In policy terms the problem has been the language difficulties between economics and culture and the struggle with the increasingly central role of cultural value within economic production (O’Connor: 2003).

Turning to the Isle of Wight, an established schedule of events, small and large, took place throughout the year to attract visitors. Music events included the Bestival in September, the Jazz Festival in April and the main Isle of Wight Music Festival in June. Sports events included Cowes Week in August, the Walking Festival in May and a Cycling Festival in September. Many more events were held through the year. During the tourism year of 2007/2008 an estimated 2.56 million visits were made to the Isle of Wight (domestic and overseas residents), an increase of 2.5% versus last year. 60% of these were staying trips, in line with last year, generating tourism revenue estimated at £356 million. ( ISLE OF WIGHT TAVEL TOURISM).

1.5 Social Impacts of commercial music festivals and Tourism.

77) tourism and employment (goffe 1975:26) – three types of employment from tourism, direct employment from visitor expenditure, indirect employment , induced employment by locals re-spending from additional surplus money from tourism.(86-87) problems with economic impacts on local areas. (133) social impacts (affeld 75:109) 3 different ways to look at impacts on the tourist, the host and the tourist -host interrelationship.(138)

(33) (Getz:97) festivals have significant role in town/region, they are attractions, image makers,catalyst for futher developments, introduce better host/guest relations, lengthen tourist season.(gilbert and lizotte 98:73) defining characteristic of a festival is that its transcience – not to frequent creates excitement. Media coverage generated by events helps destinations build confidence and a positive image in the tourism marketplace. the more a festival is seen as coming from within a community and not imposed the greater the acceptance by locals.

Media coverage generated by events helps destinations build confidence and a positive image in the tourism marketplace.

Culture is central to promoting the continued renaissance of the city and has a role to play in creating a more inclusive and sustainable community. Culture creates jobs, attracts investment and enriches the lives of people who live and work in and visit the city. Culture brings distinction to the image and profile of the city; it enriches the experience of the city centre and makes each community unique in its history or sense of place. Culture is an essential creative force in the new knowledge-based economy and helps to build skills and confidence in people. Cities are finally realizing the economic potential of their cultural products and are looking strategically at positioning and supporting them. Manchester City Council in their cultural strategy acknowledges the importance of the cultural economy and aim ‘to maximise the direct and indirect benefits of the City’s cultural economy, its contribution to Manchester’s distinctive identity and to innovation in business and education’ (Manchester City Council, 2002). (ROBERTSON 2004)

There are numerous references to social and cultural impacts in journal articles and textbooks on events (eg, Walsh-Heron and Stevens, 1990; Getz, 1991; McDonnell et al, 1999; Van Der Wagen, 2001) but they tend to focus primarily on economic advantage, management and marketing. However, the above authors note that festivals and events have been elements of community tradition for a long time, are growing in number and variety, and are increasingly linked with tourism. However, the contributory ability of events cannot be measured merely by the numbers of visitors or the expertise with which they are organized. Are there event attributes which help people from different social and cultural backgrounds to understand and empathize with each other? It is widely submitted that community pride and internal relationships may be strengthened through involvement in mounting an event, and visitors may acquire greater understanding and appreciation of the community traditions and way of life. Small-scale events such as village festivals draw visitors from surrounding districts and may help give visitors from urban areas a more accurate perception of rural life. This aspect of events may best be seen in local wine and food festivals, usually heavily dependent on voluntary inputs, and providing a means by which communities can confirm and communicate pride in their local products.

A sense of community is an almost invisible yet critical part of a healthy community.

Though hard to define, it includes a community’s image, spirit, character, pride,

relationships and networking (Bush, 2002). A sense of community comes from a

shared vision, where a clear sense of purpose values individual’s ideas and

contribution and involves working together on community issues, celebrations and

problem solving. Developing a sense of community is challenging long-term work,

building levels of connectedness, belonging and support (Duga & Schweitzer, 1997).

Trotter (1999:39) suggests the identity, cultural experience and sense of

place are the new objects of tourism, and visitors will know when they are not

present. People turn to their culture as a means of self-definition and mobilise to

assert their local cultural values (Adams & Goldbard, 2001). Festivals can reflect the

dynamic value systems of individuals united by the same customs, images, collective

memory, habits and experiences. Festivals can be replicated and each generation can

pass on something of its experience to the next.

1.6 Negative Impacts of commercial music festivals and tourism.

(141)widely agreed resident threshold of tolerance of tourists which varies spatially and temporarily, as long as numbers and negative impacts remain low, if threshold crossed then symptoms of mild apathy and irritation to extreme xenophobia, and grudging to open explosion, tolerance varies between- the cultural and economic differences between tourists and host, the physical and psychological capabilities to absorbs number of tourists and their activities, the rapidity and intensity of tourist development.(142) (Jordan 1980) although the livelihood of residents may be derive from the presence of tourists, they view the approaching season with mixed feeling, and value the off season when only permanent residents are present. Conditions in which tourist irritation happens: the physical presence of tourists- large groups, congestion. The demonstration effect – residents resent apparent material superiority of visitors, foreign ownership and employment – the employment of non locals (neo colonialism). (35) (mcdonnell et al 1999) each host organisation has a responsibility to the host community and other stakeholders to effectively manage the festival. The importance of community consultation is very important sustainability needs to be built into the planning of an event to minimize adverse impacts and allow for benefits for the host community. (36)Hostilities can arise from issues like crowd control, traffic, noise, influx of visitors,litter, acess to local amenities and buildings.

(36)Hostilities can arise from issues like crowd control, traffic, noise, influx of visitors,litter, acess to local amenities and buildings. (38)many audience members will wish to statisfy curiosity about the local place and people, festivals offer opportunities for visitors to apprectate and explore local sights and people = meet new people spend money, participants spread stories and experiences at home to friends = word of mouth promotion. (38)- (dimmock and tiyce,2001:Gunn,1994) festivals identified as one of the fastest growing forms of lesuire and tourism.

the more a festival is seen as coming from within a community and not imposed the greater the acceptance by locals. (Schendier: 1976)5 ) tourism equals a spectre of problems like destruction of traditional lifestyles, neo -colonialist relationships of exploitation, overdependence upon an un reliable, single industry and inflation Lastly tourism is a highly unstable export subject to strong seasonal variations’.

it is likely that some potential visitors interested in acquiring a better understanding of the host community will be discouraged by the crowding and increased costs associated with such events (de Souto, 1993). Although attendance at an event may provide visitors with intercultural contacts, the experience is fleeting and still relatively superficial. In addition, certain events, particularly festivals, are valued because they emphasize the differences, rather than the commonality, between hosts and visitors, a general divisive process referred to as ‘othering’ (Hollinshead, 1998). a major threat to event

tourism as an instrument of peace is the volume and nature of the demand it generates

(Muller, 1997), and this is not confined to numbers of visitors. Event visitors, like

other tourists, may demand a hedonistic, self-indulgent lifestyle which contrasts

sharply with the community conditions in which these expectations are met.

reliance on education and the sustainability ethic to assist in the

development of more appropriate events may be misplaced. Stabler (1997) claims that

sustainability management tends to focus on viability and resource protection rather

than community welfare, and suggests that it may be an industrialized nation concept

foisted on developing countries. Wheeler (1997) reminds us that the more educated

people are, the more they travel; that the numbers involved are too large for any

sensitization program to have effect; and that host communities desperate for

economic benefits have little bargaining power and will not impose environmental

and growth controls.

It is submitted here that large-scale events are least likely to provide the required type

of contact, and that there is a need to recognize the value of small, everyday events in

informing visitors about the essential character of a community (Kelly, 1991)

It is further submitted that positive impacts are more likely to occur if those involved,

both hosts and guests, are open-minded, free from prejudice and inclined towards

goodwill (Kelly, 1998).

1.9 Successful event management of commercial music festivals.

2.0 Background of the Isle of Wight.

2.1 The Isle of Wight Festival.

Schuker (2005 : 105) surmises that the growth and beginning of the common day commercial rock/pop music festival as we know it now was first emerged in the late 60’s and early 70’s with the

2.2 Summery of Literature Review.

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