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Chapter 11 Edinburgh, a Festival City

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-911396-91-8-4201

ISBN: 978-1-911396-91-8

Published: September 2019

Component type: chapter

Published in: Event Portfolio Management

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-911396-91-8-4260



Edinburgh has long been recognized as a global model for “festival cities”, and is often cited as a leader in the planning and evaluation of events. In 2010 Edinburgh won the World Festival and Event City award from the International Festival and Event Association (IFEA) and was declared the most outstanding global entry. According to Visit Scotland’s 2015 visitor survey (cited in BOP Consulting 2018, p. 8), “Edinburgh’s Festivals each year deliver over 3,000 events, reaching audiences of more than 4.5 million and creating the equivalent of approximately 6,000 full time jobs. 32% of the 14 million+ annual visitors to Scotland are moti- vated by the nation’s cultural and heritage offer, in which the Festivals play a defining role.” The city is frequently cited in the events literature, and its generous posting of material online is a boon to scholars and practitioners alike. The companion book in this series, Event Impact Assessment (Getz, 2019), presents highlights from a succession of impact studies that Festivals Edinburgh has placed online, while in this book we examine portfolio management through a review of published documents (all available online) and input from Festivals Edinburgh. Permanent, formal stakeholder collaboration, and strategic planning sup- ported by research is in large part what distinguishes Edinburgh’s event port- folio. The Festivals Forum (established in 2007 following the first Thundering Hooves report) facilitates stakeholder collaboration, particularly by bringing major funders to the table with events and venues. Festivals Edinburgh is a formal, staffed association of the eleven major, permanent festivals that contrib- ute most to the city’s image and to event-tourism impacts. Leadership is shared, not concentrated in one organization. As well, the city and Scottish Government work closely together, facilitated by the explicit portfolio strategy followed by EventScotland. Innovation in programming the festivals is matched by leadership in envi- ronmental sustainability and social responsibility. Engagement with residents is considered to be a high priority, and this includes demonstrating benefits through regular and comprehensive impact studies that cover cultural, social, economic and environmental impacts. Investment in venues and infrastructure has also been a priority for the city.

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Antchak, Ziakas & Getz, 2019

Antchak, V., Ziakas, V. & Getz, D. (2019) "Chapter 11 Edinburgh, a Festival City" In: Antchak, V., Ziakas, V. & Getz, D. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-911396-91-8-4201


AEA Consultants, London (2006). Thundering Hooves: Maintaining the Global Competitive Edge of Edinburgh's Festivals. https://aeaconsulting.com/insights/thundering_hooves_maintaining_the_global_competitive_edge_of_edinburghs_festivals

BOP Consulting (2011). Edinburgh Festivals Impact Study - Research and Knowledge Exchange in the Creative Economy: Impact and Effect. Prepared for Festivals Edinburgh. https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/media/icc/newwebsite/documents/ Edinburgh%20Festivals%20presentation%20BOP%20v1.pdf

BOP Consulting (2016). Edinburgh Festivals 2015 Impact Study Final Report. Prepared for Festivals Edinburgh. https://www.edinburghfestivalcity.com/assets/000/001/964/Edinburgh_Festivals_-2015_Impact_Study_Final_Report_ original.pdf?1469537463

BOP Consulting (2018). Edinburgh Festivals The Network Effect: The role of the Edinburgh Festivals in the national culture and events sectors. https://www.edinburghfestivalcity.com/assets/000/003/791/The_Network_Effect__ July_2018__original.pdf?1531301203

BOP Consulting and Festivals & Events International (2015). Edinburgh Festivals: Thundering Hooves 2.0. A Ten Year Strategy to Sustain the Success of Edinburgh's Festivals. https://www.edinburghfestivalcity.com/about/thundering-hooves

Festivals Forum (n.d) www.edinburghfestivalcity.com/about/core-partners

Getz, D. (2019). Event Impact Assessment. Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers.


Visit Scotland. (2015). Scotland the perfect stage: Scotland's events strategy 2015- 2025. Retrieved from http://www.eventscotland.org/assets/show/4658


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Published in Event Portfolio Management

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