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The Festivalscape of Finnmark

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The diversity of festivals in Finnmark, Norway, was researched with the aim of creating a festival map of the county's Festivalscape. Data were collected by questionnaires to the registered festival managers. It was concluded that Finnmark is a festive county where 72,000 people share close to 60 festivals arranged annually in 19 municipalities across the county. The festivals were categorized as either music, arts, sports or market festivals, however the largest group were named thematic festivals as they are each built around rather unique themes, thus representing a diverse example of festival variety and creativity. Even so, live music and food sales are found at most festivals, and all festivals have more than one main activity. Festivals are by no means a source of paid employment for the inhabitants, but rich opportunities for more than 3000 volunteers to participate in creating compressed cultural expressions and develop social networks. The number of visitors at the festivals varies from 100 to 10,000 persons. It is also a cost effective way of culture production as most of the festivals present budgets below 500,000 NOK. Entrance fees, sales of merchandise, sponsorship and public municipality funding are the most important source of sponsorship. A wide range of themes are represented in these festivals in which ethnicity, nationality and various border themes also play roles as ideological bases and cultural framing of the events. The tourism potential of the festivals and their actual production processes seems underdeveloped.
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Keywords: Festival; Finnmark; Norway; festival categories; festival ecology; festival management; festival ownership; festival tourism-orientation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Finnmark University College, Department of Tourism, Hotel Management and Media Studies, Alta 2: Norwegian School of Hotel Management, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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