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

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

Autissier, Anne-Marie, editor. The Europe of Festivals: From Zagreb to Edinburgh. Intersecting Viewpoints., éditions de l’áttribut; Culture Europe International, 2009, www.worldcat.org​/​oclc/​643491672.

Bennett, Andy and Ian Woodward. “Festival Spaces, Identity, Experience and Belonging.” The Festivalization of Culture, edited by Andy Bennett et al., Ashgate, 2014, pp. 11–25.

Bennett, Andy; Taylor, Jodie; Woodward, Ian, editors. The Festivalization of Culture, Ashgate, 2014.

Chalcraft, Jasper; Delanty, Gerard; Sassatelli, Monica. “Varieties of Cosmopolitanism in Art Festivals.” The Festivalization of Culture, edited by Andy Bennett et al., Ashgate, 2014, pp. 109–29.

Crespi-Valbona, Montserrat, and Greg Richards. “The Meaning of Cultural Festivals: Stakeholder Perspectives in Catalunya.” International Journal of Cultural Policy, vol. 13, no. 1, 2007, pp. 103–22.

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

Duvignaud, Jean. “Festivals: A Sociological Approach.” Cultures, vol. 3, no. 1, 1976, pp. 13–28.

Falassi, Alessandro. Time out of time: Essays on the festival, University of New Mexico Press, 1987.

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

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

Fournier, Laurent Sébastien. “Traditional Festivals: From European Ethnology to Festive Studies.” Journal of Festive Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, 2019, pp. 11–26. doi:10.33823/jfs.2019.1.1.21.

Getz, Donald. “The Nature and Scope of Festival Studies.” International Journal of Event Management Research, vol. 5, no. 1, 2010, www.ijemr.org​/​docs/​Vol5-​1/​Getz.pdf.

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

Getz, Donald; Andersson, Tommy (Hg.) (2009): Festival Management. Scand. J. of Hospitality & Tourism 9 (2/3): Routledge.

Getz, Donald; Andersson, Tommy. “Festival Stakeholder Roles: Concepts and Case Studies.” Event Management, vol. 10, no. 2, 2007, pp. 103–22.

Giorgi, Liana, editor. European Arts Festivals: Cultural Pragmatics and Discursive Identity Frames. WP3 Main Report, EURO-FESTIVAL Project, 1 July 2010. community.iknowfutures.eu​/​action/​file/​download​?​file_guid=​8885.

Giorgi, Liana, editor. European Arts Festivals: Strengthening Cultural Diversity, Publications Office of the European Union, 2011, ec.europa.eu​/​research/​social-​sciences/​pdf/​policy_​reviews/​euro-​festival-​report_​en.pdf.

Giorgi, Liana; Sassatelli, Monica; Delanty, Gerard, editors. Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere, Routledge, 2011.

Gœtschel, Pascale, and Patricia Hidiroglou. “Introduction: Le festival, objet d’histoire.” Une histoire des festivals: XXe-XXIe siècle, [A History of Festivals: 20th – 21st Century]. edited by Anaïs Fléchet et al., Publications de la Sorbonne, 2013, pp. 7–15.

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

Hauptfleisch, Temple; Lev-Aladgem, Shulamith; Martin, Jacqueline; Sauter, Willmar; Schoenmakers, Henri, editors. Festivalising: Theatrical Events, Politics and Culture, Rodopi, 2007. Themes in Theatre – Collective Approaches to Theatre and Performance 3.

Jaeger, Kari, and Reidar Mykletun. “The Festivalscape of Finnmark.” Festival Management, edited by Donald Getz and Tommy Andersson, Routledge, 2009, pp. 327–48. 9.

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

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

Négrier, Emmanuel and Marie-Thérese Jourda. Les nouveaux territoires des festivals, Michel de Maule, 2007.

Peaslee, Robert Moses. “Media Conduction: Festivals, Networks, and Boundaried Spaces.” International Journal of Communication, no. 7, 2013, pp. 811–30.

Poirrier, Philippe, editor. Festivals & sociétés en Europe, XIXe-XXIe siècles. Edited by Philippe Poirrier. Spec. issue of Territoires contemporains 3:2012.

Sassatelli, Monica, editor. European Public Culture and Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism: Main Report. Report completed in the framework of the EURO-FESTIVAL project, 30 Oct. 2008.

Segal, Jérôme, and Liana Giorgi, editors. European Arts Festivals from a Historical Perspective: Main Report 2. Report completed in the framework of the EURO-FESTIVAL project, 7 July 2009.

Taylor, Jodie. “Festivalizing Sexualities: Discourses of ‘Pride’, Counter-Discourses of ‘Shame’.” The Festivalization of Culture, edited by Andy Bennett et al., Ashgate, 2014, pp. 27–48.

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

Twaalfhoven, Anita, editor. Festivals. Edited by Anita Twaalfhoven. Spec. issue of Boekman 832010.

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

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

(Last updated: 22 July 2021)