From “clone towns” to “slow towns”: examining festival legacies

Take a look at my latest journal article published in the Journal of Place Management and Development alongside other researchers from Anglia Ruskin University (UK) and Bond University (Australia).

The full version is available here. You can view the journal article’s abstract below.

On a side note, I will be presenting some of the findings from this paper later on this month at the Third International Conference on Tourism & Leisure Studies in Lanzarote. If you’re interested in attending or following proceedings online, the conference keynote speakers and programme sessions are detailed here. You can find updates from the conference on Twitter using @tourism_leisure handle and #tls18 hashtag.

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to examine the role of grassroots (food) festivals for supporting the sustainability of micro and small producers, whilst exploring potential productive linkages between both stakeholders (festivals and producers) for enhancing a more authentic cultural offering and destination image in the visitor economy.
Design/methodology/approach – This paper is exploratory, qualitative and inductive. Evidence is underpinned by a purposive sample, drawing on ten in-depth interviews and 17 open-ended survey responses collected across 2014 and 2015 – drawing perspectives from traders participating in the EAT Cambridge festival.
Findings – This paper unpacks a series of serendipitous [as opposed to “strategic”] forms of festival and producer leveraging; strengthening B2C relationships and stimulating business to business networking and creative entrepreneurial collaborations. Positive emergent “embryonic” forms of event legacy are identified that support the longer-term sustainability of local producers and contribute towards an alternative idea of place and destination, more vibrant and authentic connectivity with localities and slower visitor experiences.
Originality/value – This study emphasises the importance of local bottom-up forms of “serendipitous leverage” for enhancing positive emergent “embryonic” legacies that advance “slow” tourism and local food agendas. In turn, this enhances the cultural offering and delivers longer-term sustainability for small local producers – particularly vital in the era of “Clone Town” threats and effects. The paper applies Chalip’s (2004) event leverage model to the empirical setting of EAT Cambridge and conceptually advances the framework by integrating “digital” forms of leverage.

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