This book explores how festivals and events affect urban places and public spaces, with a particular focus on their role in fostering inclusion. The 'festivalisation' of culture, politics and space in cities is often regarded as problematic, but this book examines the positive and negative ways that festivals affect cities by examining festive spaces as contested spaces. The book focuses on Western European cities, a particularly interesting context given the social and cultural pressures associated with high levels of in-migration and concerns over the commercialisation and privatisation of public spaces.
The key themes of this book are the quest for more inclusive urban spaces and the contested geographies of festival spaces and places. Festivals are often used by municipal authorities to break down symbolic barriers that restrict who uses public spaces and what those spaces are used for. However, the rise of commercial festivals and ticketed events means that they are also responsible for imposing physical and financial obstacles that reduce the accessibility of city parks, streets and squares.
Alongside addressing the contested effects of urban festivals on the character and inclusivity of public spaces, the book addresses more general themes including the role of festivals in culture-led regeneration. Several chapters analyse festivals and events as economic development tools, and the book also covers contested representations of festival cities and the ways related images and stories are used in place marketing.
A range of cases from Western Europe are used to explore these issues, including chapters on some of the world's most significant and contested festival cities: Venice, Edinburgh, London and Barcelona. The book covers a wide range of festivals, including those dedicated to music and the arts, but also events celebrating particular histories, identities and pastimes. A series of fascinating cases are discussed from the Venice Biennale and Dublin Festival of History, to Rotterdam's music festivals and craft beer festivals in Manchester. The diverse and innovative qualities of the book are also evident in the range of urban spaces covered: obvious examples of public spaces - such as parks, streets, squares and piazzas - are addressed, but the book includes chapters on enclosed public spaces (e.g., libraries) and urban blue spaces (waterways) too. This reflects the interpretation of public spaces as socio-material entities: they are produced informally through their use (including for festivals and events), as well as through their formal design and management.
About the Author
Andrew Smith is the author of Ghost Medicine and The Marbury Lens, both of which were named American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults. He is also the author of In the Path of Falling Objects. Smith started writing for newspapers and radio. He then traveled around the world and from job to job, working in metal mills, as a longshoreman, in bars and liquor stores, in security and as a musician. Now, in addition to writing, he teaches high school advanced placement classes and coaches rugby. He lives in Southern California with his family, in a rural location in the mountains.
Guy Osborn is Professor of Law at the University of Westminster, UK, and Co-Creative Director of the Soho Poly.
Bernadette Quinn has a PhD in Human Geography from University College Dublin. She currently lectures and researches in the Department of Tourism at the Dublin Institute of Technology. The nature and meaning of festivals and festivity in contemporary society has been a key research interest and her work on the topic has been published in a number of international journals including Urban Studies, Social and Cultural Geography, Tourism Geographies, Event management and the Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events. Other research interests include the relationship between culture and tourism, leisure and social inclusion and contemporary forms of tourism mobility. Publications on these topics have appeared in the Annals of Tourism Research, Gender, Place and Culture and Leisure Studies as well as in various edited book collections. Her teaching interests mirror her research interests and she is involved in undergraduate and postgraduate tourism management and event management programmes teaching modules related to cultural tourism, international festival environments, tourism studies and tourism and event policy. She is actively involved in the ATLAS Events Special Interest Group and has co-authored a chapter on festivals and social capital in their forthcoming book on Exploring the Social Impact of Events.