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Community Involvement in Festivals: Exploring Ways of Increasing Local Participation

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Despite the existence of measurement indicators for the social impacts of festivals, there has been limited research on how communities feel part of and contribute to the festival experience. This study examines how festivals involve local people and identifies ways of appraising and widening community participation. To this end, the organizers of four community-based festivals in edinburgh were interviewed and a focus group discussion featuring members of the public with a community interest was held. By combining relevant literature with the primary research findings, a framework to assess community involvement in festivals is proposed consisting of five indicators: involvement of schools; volunteering opportunities; participation in decision making; accessibility; and business cooperation. After further development and testing, the proposed framework could help organizers, councils, and tourism bodies improve their understanding and identify better ways of involving local people in the festivals that impact on their communities.
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Keywords: COMMUNITY; FESTIVALS; INDICATORS; INVOLVEMENT; PARTICIPATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2011

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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