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Festival management studies: Developing a framework and priorities for comparative and cross‐cultural research

Donald Getz (School of Tourism, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia Centre for Tourism, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)
Tommy Andersson (Gothenburg Business School, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
J. Carlsen (Curtin Business School, Curtin University, Perth, Australia)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Article publication date: 19 March 2010




The purpose of this paper is to develop both a systematic framework and priorities for comparative and cross‐cultural festival management studies, based on literature review and results of a four‐country study.


This research is based on four samples of festivals in Sweden, Norway, UK, and Australia that are systematically compared. The survey is designed to profile the festivals in terms of vision/mandate, ownership, age, size, assets, venues used, decision‐making structure, and programs. Costs and revenues are examined in some detail, including trends in each category. Festivals' use of volunteers and sponsors are specifically addressed. Levels of dependence on a number of types of stakeholders and other strategic management issues are also explored. Respondents are also asked to respond to statements regarding challenges and threats to their festival and organization.


The empirical research identifies important similarities and differences that exist within the UK, Sweden, Norway, and Australia, by three ownership types, in how festivals are organized, their operations and strategies, stakeholder influences and dependencies, threats, and strategies.

Research limitations/implications

In the recommended framework are five components: antecedents; planning and management; planned event experiences and meanings; outcomes and the impacted and dynamic patterns; and processes. Specific points of comparison are enumerated within each component, foundation theories and concepts are identified, and some research priorities suggested for each.


The framework developed in this paper can help advance both the process and applications of comparative festival studies.



Getz, D., Andersson, T. and Carlsen, J. (2010), "Festival management studies: Developing a framework and priorities for comparative and cross‐cultural research", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 29-59.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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