1.3 General Academic Studies on Festivals (Not only Film Festivals)

Of great value to the study of film festivals is the extensive body of literature on festivals from an anthropological and sociological perspective (from which we can include only a small selection below). Festivals were first studied to gain understanding of so-called primitive people. Jean Duvignaud (1976) argues that the classic analysis of festivals goes back to Émile Durkheim, who distinguished between the sacred and profane and wrote about “collective effervescence” as the supreme moment of the solidarity of collective consciousness (Duvignaud 1976: 13). Other anthropologists observed how during festival time the norms and rules of everyday life were suspended. In the anthropological study of ‘primitive people’ this festival situation of excess, disorder and chaos has been interpreted in relation to communities’ mythical pasts. Key contributions to the anthropological field, used by festival scholars, include Roger Caillois’ theories of transgressions and play, Arnold van Gennep’s work on rites of passage, and Victor Turner’s concepts of liminality and anti-structure. In the overview, Alessandro Falassi presents a morphology of festivals with ten ritual acts (rites) as building blocks for actual festivals (1987: 3–6). However, there is not one “essence of the festival” common to all civilizations, as Duvignaud argues, save perhaps that all are in a way antagonistic (1976: 18–19). Particularly relevant to film festival research is his observation that some festivals revolve around prestige and competition rather than tribal disorganization, and are related to economic activity rather than mythical fascinations with nature. When we turn to studies of modern festivals then, recent work specifically addresses the effects of the trends of commercialization and globalization. Montserrat Crespi-Valbona and Greg Richards, for example, argue that the “focus [in recent studies on festivalization] has often been on the replacement of local, traditional cultural by globalized, popular culture, and the transition from ‘ritual’ to ‘spectacle'” (2007: 106).


Allen, Johnny, William O’Toole, Ian McDonnell, and Robert Harris. 2002. Festival and Special Event Management. 2. ed. Wiley Australian tourism series. Milton: Wiley. http://www.gbv.de/dms/bowker/toc/9780471421825.pdf.

Autissier, Anne-Marie, ed. 2008. L’Europe des festivals: De Zagreb à Edimbourg, points de vue croisés. Toulouse, Saint-Denis: Attribut. [The Europe of Festivals: From Zagreb to Edinburgh. Intersecting Viewpoints].

Autissier, Anne-Marie, ed. 2009. The Europe of Festivals: From Zagreb to Edinburgh. Intersecting Viewpoints… Toulouse, Paris: éditions de l’áttribut; Culture Europe International.

Bennett, Andy, Jodie Taylor, and Ian Woodward, eds. 2014. The Festivalization of Culture. Farnham, Surrey, Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Bennett, Andy, and Ian Woodward. 2014. “Festival Spaces, Identity, Experience and Belonging.” In The Festivalization of Culture, edited by Andy Bennett, Jodie Taylor, and Ian Woodward, 11–25. Farnham, Surrey, Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Chalcraft, Jasper, Gerard Delanty, and Monica Sassatelli. 2014. “Varieties of Cosmopolitanism in Art Festivals.” In The Festivalization of Culture, edited by Andy Bennett, Jodie Taylor, and Ian Woodward, 109–29. Farnham, Surrey, Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Crespi-Valbona, Montserrat, and Greg Richards. 2007. “The Meaning of Cultural Festivals: Stakeholder Perspectives in Catalunya.” International Journal of Cultural Policy 13 (1): 103–22.

Cudny, Waldemar. 2016. Festivalisation of Urban Spaces: Factors, Processes and Effects: Springer.

Duvignaud, Jean. 1976. “Festivals: A Sociological Approach.” Cultures 3 (1): 13–28.

Falassi, Alessandro. 1987. Time Out of Time: Essays on the Festival. Albuquerque, N.M. University of New Mexico Press.

Finkel, Rebecca. 2009. “A Picture of the Contemporary Combined Arts Festival Landscape.” Cultural Trends 18 (1): 3–21.

Fléchet, Anaïs, Pascale Gœtschel, Patricia Hidiroglou, Sophie Jacotot, Caroline Moine, and Julie Verlaine, eds. 2013. Une histoire des festivals: XXe-XXIe siècle. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne. [A History of Festivals: 20th – 21st Century].

Fournier, Laurent Sébastien. 2019. “Traditional Festivals: From European Ethnology to Festive Studies.” JFS 1 (1): 11–26. https://doi.org/10.33823/jfs.2019.1.1.21.

Getz, Donald, Tommy Andersson, and Mia Larson. 2007. “Festival Stakeholder Roles: Concepts and Case Studies.” Event Management 10 (2): 103–22.

“European Arts Festivals: Cultural Pragmatics and Discursive Identity Frames.” 2010. Unpublished manuscript, last modified April 07, 2020. http://community.iknowfutures.eu/action/file/download?file_guid=8885. WP3 Main Report.

Giorgi, Liana, ed. 2011. European Arts Festivals: Strengthening Cultural Diversity. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. Accessed April 07, 2020. https://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/pdf/policy_reviews/euro-festival-report_en.pdf.

Giorgi, Liana, Monica Sassatelli, and Gerard Delanty, eds. 2011. Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere. Abingdon, New York: Routledge.

Gœtschel, Pascale, and Patricia Hidiroglou. 2013. “Introduction: Le festival, objet d’histoire.” [Introduction: The festival, object of history]. In Une histoire des festivals: XXe-XXIe siècle, edited by Anaïs Fléchet, Pascale Gœtschel, Patricia Hidiroglou, Sophie Jacotot, Caroline Moine, and Julie Verlaine, 7–15. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne.

Hagan, Cara. 2018. “Curatorial Practices for Intersectional Programming.” IJSD 9:133–51. https://doi.org/10.18061/ijsd.v9i0.6046.

Harris, Neil. 2007. “Festival Culture, American Style.” In The Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State, edited by Casey N. Blake, 11–29. Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA: Woodrow Wilson Center Press; Univ. of Pennsylvania Press.

Hauptfleisch, Temple, Shulamith Lev-Aladgem, Jacqueline Martin, Willmar Sauter, and Henri Schoenmakers, eds. 2007. Festivalising: Theatrical Events, Politics and Culture. Themes in theatre – collective Approaches to theatre and Performance 3. Amsterdam, New York, NY: Rodopi.

Jaeger, Kari, and Reidar Mykletun. 2009. “The Festivalscape of Finnmark.” In “Festival Management.” edited by Donald Getz and Tommy Andersson. Special issue, Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 9. (2/3): 327–48.

MacAloon, John J., ed. 1984. Rite, Drama, Festival, Spectacle: Rehearsals toward a Theory of Cultural Performance. Philadelphia: Institute for the Study of Human Issues.

Moeran, Brian, and Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen, eds. 2011. Negotiating Values in the Creative Industries: Fairs, Festivals and Competitive Events. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.

Négrier, Emmanuel, and Marie-Thérese Jourda. 2007. Les nouveaux territoires des festivals. Paris: Michel de Maule. [The new festival territories].

Peaslee, Robert Moses. 2013. “Media Conduction: Festivals, Networks, and Boundaried Spaces.” IJoC (7): 811–30.

Poirrier, Philippe, ed. (http://tristan.u-bourgogne.fr/CGC/publications/Festivals_societes/Festivals.html) 2012. “Festivals & sociétés en Europe, XIXe-XXIe siècles.” Special issue, Territoires contemporains, no. 3.

“European Public Culture and Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism: Main Report.” 2008. Report completed in the framework of the EURO-FESTIVAL project.

“European Arts Festivals from a Historical Perspective: Main Report 2.” 2009. Report completed in the framework of the EURO-FESTIVAL project.

Taylor, Jodie. 2014. “Festivalizing Sexualities: Discourses of ‘Pride’, Counter-Discourses of ‘Shame’.” In The Festivalization of Culture, edited by Andy Bennett, Jodie Taylor, and Ian Woodward, 27–48. Farnham, Surrey, Burlington, VT: Ashgate.

Teissl, Verena. 2013. Kulturveranstaltung Festival: Formate, Entstehung und Potenziale. Bielefeld: transcript.

Twaalfhoven, Anita, ed. 2010. “Festivals.” Special issue, Boekman, no. 83.

Wallin, Mark Rowell, Billy Collins, and John S. Hull. 2013. “It’s Not Just About the Film: Festivals, Sustainability, and Small Cities.” In Events, Society and Sustainability: Critical and Contemporary Approaches, edited by Tomas Pernecky and Michael Lück, 229–43. Routledge Advances in Event Research Series. London: Routledge.

Williams, Michael, and Glenn A. J. Bowdin. 2007. “Festival Evaluation: An Exploration of Seven UK Arts Festivals.” Managing Leisure 12 (2-3): 187–203. https://doi.org/10.1080/13606710701339520.


(Last updated: 09. April 2024)