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Chapter 20 Festivals in the Network Society

DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2645

ISBN: 978-1-910158-15-9

Published: January 2015

Component type: chapter

Published in: Focus On Festivals

Parent DOI: 10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2599



Albert Einstein once remarked that “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once”. In the contemporary network society, however, this system seems to have ceased working. We are constantly bombarded by events. The regular rhythms of events in traditional societies and the ordered series of events in industrial society seem to have given way to a chaotic cacophony of happenings, which we might characterise as ‘hyper-eventfulness’ or ‘hyperfestivity’. As Richards and Palmer (2010) noted, the slogan ‘festival city’ or ‘city of festivals’ has become a popular choice as part of a city’s brand image. Edmonton refers to itself as ‘Canada’s Festivals City’, setting itself in competition with Montreal and Quebec City that define them- selves in similar terms. Milwaukee and Sacramento are two American cities, along with some 30 others, where being ‘cities of festivals’ has become a prime element of their destination marketing throughout the year. Guadalajara, Mexico’s second largest city, similarly tries to gain national and international standing by communicating itself as a festival centre. The world status of Edinburgh is claimed on the official website of the Edinburgh Festivals:”‘With the stunning Hogmanay celebrations heralding a brand new year and the start of Homecoming Scotland 2009, the World’s Leading Festival City is gearing up for spring, and more of its exciting festivals.” The explosion of eventfulness and festivity evident in contemporary society was also one of the reasons that Dragan Klaić founded the European Festivals Research Project in 2004. The project was launched “believing that festivals have become emblematic for the issues, problems and contradictions of the current cultural practices, marked by globalization, European integration, institutional fatigue, dominance of cultural industry and shrinking public subsidies”. As these challenges have only become sharper during the past decade, festivals and events have emerged as an essential part of the contemporary cultural landscape.

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  • Greg Richards (Author)

For the source title:

  • Chris Newbold, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Christopher Maughan, Freelance writer (Editor)
  • Jennie Jordan, De Montfort University (Editor)
  • Franco Bianchini, Leeds Beckett University (Editor)

Cite as

Richards, 2015

Richards, G. (2015) "Chapter 20 Festivals in the Network Society" In: Newbold, C., Maughan, C., Jordan, J. & Bianchini, F. (ed) . Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers http://dx.doi.org/10.23912/978-1-910158-15-9-2645


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