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Chapter 10 Research and Evaluation

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-911396-82-6-4078

ISBN: 978-1-911396-82-6

Published: January 2019

Component type: chapter

Published in: Principles of Festival Management

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-911396-82-6-3894



In this chapter we will demonstrate that research is at the heart of good festival management. Good festival management involves informed decision making, and research methodologies support this at all levels from planning and programming, through the marketing and the running of the festival, to event evaluation and audience development. Research is a key element of the iterative process through which festivals develop year on year via experience and feedback, not only from audiences, but also from artists, staff and volunteers; this information then feeds into the successful planning of the next event and so on and so forth.
The aims of this chapter are to introduce the research process as a whole, give advice and encouragement, discuss the key considerations in carrying out successful research, and identify and describe the main research methods that managers will encounter in running and evaluating their festival. Whilst we will focus on the most often used methodologies of questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and observation, we will also offer some other complementary approaches and discuss the use of digital and online resources in festival research.
Carrying out research is all about making the right decisions. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and research can be time-consuming and expensive; this chapter will help you to make the right decisions about the methodologies and their use. Successful research is all about juggling a number of key factors such as cost, time, sample size, response rates and reliability. Research does not have to be either costly or time consuming – indeed a great deal of what festival managers already do could be considered as research, and this chapter will help them sharpen up some of those practices.

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  • Chris Newbold, De Montfort University Leicester (Author)

For the source title:

  • Chris Newbold, De Montfort University Leicester (Author)
  • Jennie Jordan, Leicester Castle Business School (Author)
  • Paul Kelly, Festivals Organiser and Fundraiser (Author)
  • Kristy Diaz, Loughborough University (Author)

Cite as

Newbold, 2019

Newbold, C. (2019) "Chapter 10 Research and Evaluation" In: Newbold, C., Jordan, J., Kelly, P. & Diaz, K. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-911396-82-6-4078


Bradfield, E. (2015) Art in Mind: Evaluating the impact of participatory arts on improved mental wellbeing. Discussion Papers in Arts and Festivals Management DPAFM 15/1. Leicester: De Montfort University.

Denscombe, M. (1998) The Good Research Guide: For small-scale social research projects. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Fox, D., Gouthro, M. B., Morakabati, Y., and Brackstone, J. (2014) Doing Events Research: From theory to practice. London: Routledge.


Getz, D. (2018) Event Evaluation: Theory and methods for event management and tourism. Oxford: Goodfellow.

Hansen, A. and Machin, D. (2013) Media and Communication Research Methods. London: Palgrave Macmillan.


Hansen, A., Cottle, S., Negrine, R., and Newbold, C. (1998) Mass Communication Research Methods. London: Palgrave Macmillan.


Market Research Society, (2014) Principles of the MRS Code of Conduct, https://www.mrs.org.uk/pdf/mrs%20code%20of%20conduct%202014.pdf

Quinn, B. (2013) Key Concepts in Event Management. London: Sage.


Veal, A. J. and Burton, C. (2014) Research Methods for Arts and Events Managers. Harlow: Pearson.


Chapter 10 Research and Evaluation [Details]Price: £5.99*Licences / Downloadable file

Published in Principles of Festival Management

Chapter 10 Research and Evaluation [Details]Price: £5.99*Licences / Downloadable file
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