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 (2005). Festival and Special Event Management. 3rd ed. Milton: Wiley.

Autissier, Anne-Marie, ed. (2008). L’Europe des festivals: De Zagreb à Edimbourg, points de vue croisés. Toulouse, Saint-Denis: Attribut.

Autissier, Anne-Marie, ed. (2009). The Europe of Festivals: From Zagreb to Edinburgh. Intersecting Viewpoints… Toulouse; Paris: Attribut; 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.” The Festivalization of Culture. Eds. Andy Bennett, Jodie Taylor, and Ian Woodward. Farnham, Surrey, Burlington, VT: Ashgate. pp. 11–25.

Chalcraft, Jasper, Gerard Delanty, and Monica Sassatelli (2014). “Varieties of Cosmopolitanism in Art Festivals.” The Festivalization of Culture. Eds. Andy Bennett, Jodie Taylor, and Ian Woodward. Farnham, Surrey, Burlington, VT: Ashgate. pp. 109–129.

Crespi-Valbona, Montserrat, and Greg Richards (2007). “The Meaning of Cultural Festivals: Stakeholder Perspectives in Catalunya.” International Journal of Cultural Policy 13:1 (2007): 103–122.

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

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

Falassi, Alessandro (1987). Time Out of Time: Essays on the Festival. Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press.

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

Fléchet, Anaïs, et al., eds. (2013). Une histoire des festivals: XXe-XXIe siècle. Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne.

Getz, Donald (2002). “Why Festivals Fail.” Event Management  7:4 (2002): 209–219.

Getz, Donald (2010). “The Nature and Scope of Festival Studies.” International Journal of Event Management Research  5:1 (2010). <http://www.ijemr.org/docs/Vol5-1/Getz.pdf>. (16 Jul. 2013)

Getz, Donald, and Tommy Andersson, eds. (2009). Festival Management. Spec. Issue of Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 9:2/3: 109–348.

Getz, Donald, Tommy Andersson, and Mia Larson (2007). “Festival Stakeholder Roles: Concepts and Case Studies.” Event Management 10:2 (2007): 103–122.

Giorgi, Liana, ed. (2011). European Arts Festivals: Strengthening Cultural Diversity. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union. <http://ec.europa.eu/research/social-sciences/pdf/euro-festival-report_en.pdf> (15 Jun. 2011)

Giorgi, Liana, ed. (2010). European Arts Festivals: Cultural Pragmatics and Discursive Identity Frames. WP3 Main Report. EURO-FESTIVAL Project, July 2010. <http://www.euro-festival.org/docs/Euro-Festival_D3.pdf>. (20 Jan. 2011)

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

Harris, Neil (2007). “Festival Culture, American Style.” The Arts of Democracy: Art, Public Culture, and the State. Ed. Casey N. Blake. Philadelphia, PA: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 11–29.

Hauptfleisch, Temple, Lev-Aladgem Shulamith, Jacqueline Martin, Willmar Sauter, and Henri Schoenmakerset, eds. (2007). Festivalising: Theatrical Events, Politics and Culture. Amsterdam/New York, NY: Rodopi.

Jaeger, Kari, and Reidar Mykletun (2009). “The Festivalscape of Finnmark.” Festival Management. Spec. Issue of Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism 9:2/3. Eds. Donald Getz, and Tommy Andersson. Routledge. pp. 327–348.

MacAloon, John J., ed. (1984). Rite, Drama, Festival, Spectacle: Rehearsals toward a Theory of Cultural Performance. Philadelphia, PA: Inst. 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. Paris: Michel de Maule.

Peaslee, Robert Moses (2013). “Media Conduction: Festivals, Networks, and Boundaried Spaces.” International Journal of Communication  7 (2013): 811–830.

Poirrier, Philippe, ed. (2012). Festivals & sociétés en Europe, XIXe-XXIe siècles. Spec. Issue of Territoires contemporains 3. <http://tristan.u-bourgogne.fr/CGC/publications/Festivals_societes/Festivals.html>

Sassatelli, Monica, ed. (2008). European Public Culture and Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism: Main Report. Report completed in the framework of the EURO-FESTIVAL project. 30 Oct. 2008. <http://www.euro-festival.org/docs/Euro-Festival_D1_MainReport.pdf>. (27 Feb. 2009)

Segal, Jérôme, and Liana Giorgi, eds. (2009). European Arts Festivals from a Historical Perspective: Main Report 2. Report completed in the framework of the EURO-FESTIVAL project. 7.7.2009. <http://www.euro-festival.org/docs/Euro-Festival_D2.pdf>. (24 Jul. 2010)

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

Teissl, Verena (2013). Kulturveranstaltung Festival: Formate, Entstehung und Potenziale. Bielefeld: Transcript.

Twaalfhoven, Anita et al., eds. (2010). Festivals. Spec. Issue of Boekman 83.

Wallin, Mark Rowell, Billy Collins, and John S. Hull (2013). “It’s Not Just About the Film: Festivals, Sustainability, and Small Cities.” Events, Society and Sustainability: Critical and Contemporary Approaches. Eds. Tomas Pernecky, and Michael Lück. Routledge Advances in Event Research Series. London: Routledge. pp. 229–243.

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


(Last updated: 25 July 2017)