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  • Introduction: Festivalisation as a Contested Urban Strategy

    Andrew Smith, Guy Osborn, Bernadette Quinn

    Chapter from the book: Smith, A et al. 2022. Festivals and the City: The Contested Geographies of Urban Events.


    This chapter introduces the Festivals and the City book, outlining its origins and development during a period dominated by the Coronavirus pandemic. The opening sections provide an overview of the key themes addressed by the book and the various cases and festival/event genres it covers. There is also an introduction to the Chapter structure of the book and the four key sections contained within it. This chapter also introduces some of the key ideas and key issues covered by the book. There is a review of the contemporary use and meaning of the term festival; which provides the basis for an extended discussion about the ways festivals are now incorporated into urban strategies. The core argument – that festivals are now regarded and used a tool to assist municipal authorities with various policy objectives ­– is illustrated through sections which address the value of geographical analyses of urban festivals, the ways festivals have been used in city making, and the related festivalisation of urban spaces. Ultimately, the chapter argues that festivalisation is inevitable in an era where festivals and events have been earmarked as ways of addressing a range of policy objectives from city marketing to social inclusion.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Smith, A et al. 2022. Introduction: Festivalisation as a Contested Urban Strategy. In: Smith, A et al (eds.), Festivals and the City. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book64.a

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Aug. 23, 2022