Performing the Festival - a study of the Edinburgh International Festival in the twenty-first century

Attala, Jennifer (2012) Performing the Festival - a study of the Edinburgh International Festival in the twenty-first century. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In the global marketplace of the twenty-first century a proliferation of festivals, or festivalisation, has produced an increasingly pressurised and politicized environment for international arts festivals. Through a case study of the Edinburgh International Festival the thesis explores what strategies the Festival is adopting to maintain its lead position in this increasingly competitive international landscape. It examines recent cultural policy development in Scotland and the UK exploring how creative industry theory promotes the argument for ‘investment’ in cultural festivals as economic drivers and city or region profile boosters. Edinburgh’s cultural policy is to brand itself the Festival City and it has supported the establishment of a number of competing festivals in the city. The case study investigates how the Edinburgh International Festival is managing a range of new initiatives at a time of rapid political change in Scotland. These include: exploiting changing technology to assist marketing and audience development; establishing partnerships and collaborations with a growing range of non-cultural public and private bodies, and cultural diplomacy – the development of international initiatives on behalf of the Scottish and UK Governments. The case study also explores a unique model of co-opetition which has developed between the Edinburgh International Festival and rival festivals, producing new strategic cultural organizations. The thesis establishes how current cultural policies in Scotland and the UK require international arts festivals to engage in non-cultural roles in order to create profile and advantage for themselves and their stakeholders in addition to fulfilling their cultural remit and in an environment of dwindling public and private sector support. In conclusion, it considers the opportunities and risks for arts organizations of an instrumental approach to cultural policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Jointly supervised by the Centre for Cultural Policy Research.
Keywords: Edinburgh International Festival, International arts festivals, festivalisation, cultural policy, creative industries, partnership and collaboration, co-opetition, cultural diplomacy, impact studies.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Theatre Film and TV Studies
Supervisor's Name: Schlesinger, Professor Philip
Date of Award: 2012
Depositing User: Ms Jennifer Attala
Unique ID: glathesis:2012-3839
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2013 11:06
Last Modified: 16 Jan 2013 15:52

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