Gatekeeper perceptions on adopting environmentally sound information and communication technology-enhanced live performances to improve the sustainability of music festivals
International Journal of Event and Festival Management
Article publication date: 8 April 2022
Issue publication date: 7 June 2022
The purpose of this paper is to consider perceptions of sustainability, information communication technologies (ICTs)-enhanced performances, authenticity, COVID-19 and performance futures in relation to digital content for use on-site and off-site at music festivals/events. It responds to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 9 – Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure. The research analyses existing literature to inform a dialogue among music festival organisers, consultants and performers. It addresses the thesis that: industry gatekeepers’ opinions on the authenticity of environmentally sound ICT-generated live content will influence its adoption at music festivals.
Primary research was carried out using purposive sampling of 50 live music industry professionals to collect and interpret expert empirical evidence through informed narrative. Using a mixed-methods approach, respondents completed a structured e-mail questionnaire comprising closed questions, a five-point Likert scale and additional qualitative open questions.
Predominantly positive quantitative responses relating to the live music industry's role in advocating sustainability contrasted with negative responses to virtual festivals. Responses adopting and rejecting environmentally sound ICT for live content were evident in qualitative results, with significant proportions of undecided or uncertain respondents. The prevalence of postponement and rejection responses around authenticity may prevent adoption at some music festivals.
The limitations of this research include the relatively small sample size and limited scope in terms of the artform.
The “snapshot” of digital aspects of sustainability at music festivals within this research is of particular value due to the paucity of research in this area, rapid change in virtual music festival provision prompted by COVID-19 and its narrative from varied industry professionals. The paper makes recommendations to artists, music festival organisers, consultants, academics and public funders to attempt to advance sustainability.
Bossey, A. (2022), "Gatekeeper perceptions on adopting environmentally sound information and communication technology-enhanced live performances to improve the sustainability of music festivals", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 307-325. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEFM-07-2021-0060
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