The real 'worth' of festivals: challenges for measuring socio-cultural impacts

Steve John Willington Brown, Daniella Trimboli


With festivals more attuned to consumer/production typologies, and festival audiences now overwhelmed by choice, competition for funding amongst festival organisers is high and the need to prove worth for funding higher still. This paper provides an overview of the key response to this situation, notably: event evaluation. In particular, it looks at the shifts that have occurred in festival and event evaluation and argues that even though the socio-cultural importance of festivals and events is becoming more recognised, economics remain the predominant paradigm for determining the worth or value of a festival to the funding authority. Furthermore, the paper argues that development of socio-cultural impact evaluation (SCIE) is complex and requires a suitably flexible and critical approach.


festival and event management; event evaluation; social impact

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management; ISSN 1449-1184
© University of Melbourne