Consuming events and festivals: urban entrepreneurialism in the contemporary city

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Economic narratives have become increasingly important in post-industrial cities that are adopting ideas of consumption, commerce and entrepreneurialism in the context of Events policy (Foley, et al, 2011). The growth in the production of festivals, events and cultural re-generation of cities, has been a response to a manufacturing and service sector downturn. This has led to a renewed drive on a global scale to showcase cities as vibrant cultural hubs that can attract visitors and investors whilst simultaneously allowing Governments the opportunity to show other nations that they are a key player in the Global economic, political and cultural marketplace. This paper will examine the notion of the 'eventful city' ad the use of cultural regeneration strategies (Richards and Palmer, 2010) to promote the experience economy.

The paper will draw on examples from around the Globe of key nations that have used events, festivals and arts venues (e.g., Singapore Cultural Esplanade, Doha, Qatar) to grow inward investment, cultural tourism and global recognition in a sustainable manner (Raj and Musgrave, 2009). It will challenge standard notions of economic and political domination in the events and festivals field and suggest that the social and cultural impact of events and festivals is gaining increasing importance. Most palpable is the notion that increasingly cities are demonstrating a policy pull towards event and festivals that are planned and can show economic impact, place promotion, social regeneration and promote national identity. As major sporting events come under increasing criticism it may be the role of the arts and festivals to drive the place promotion strategies of cultural tourism in the forthcoming years and for the role of these events and festivals to contribute to a growing global consciousness that contribute to a global cultural leadership agenda rather than the more singular economic interest of late.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2011
EventInternational Symposium on Theater, City and Cultural Tourism - Taipei, China
Duration: 18 Nov 201119 Nov 2011


ConferenceInternational Symposium on Theater, City and Cultural Tourism


  • events policy
  • culture
  • festivals
  • economics
  • consumption
  • global


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