Throughout the world, the number of festivals has grown exponentially in the last two decades, as people celebrate local and regional cultures, but perhaps more importantly as local councils and other groups seek to use festivals both to promote tourism and to stimulate rural development. However, most studies of festivals have tended to focus almost exclusively on the cultural and symbolic aspects, or on narrow modelling of economic multiplier impacts, rather than examining their long-term implications for rural change. This book therefore has an original focus. It is structured in two parts: the first discusses broad issues affecting music festivals globally, especially in the context of rural revitalisation. The second part looks in more detail at a range of types of festivals commonly found throughout North America, Europe and Australasia, such as country music, jazz, opera and alternative music festivals. The authors draw on in-depth research undertaken over the past five years in a range of Australian places, which traces the overall growth of festivals of various kinds, examines four of the more important and distinctive music festivals, and makes clear conclusions on their significance for rural and regional change.
'Music Festivals and Regional Development in Australia provides an extremely welcome and highly readable contribution to our understanding of how events contribute to regional economies and communities. Although Australian in focus, the book is internationally relevant. Via a series of excellent case studies as well as a general overview of the field, the book is essential reading for any regional economic or tourism organisations that seeks to harness the attraction of music and the arts for regional development.' C. Michael Hall, University of Canterbury, New Zealand 'Gibson and Connell have produced a must-read book for students and fans of music festivals, indeed of festivals in general. They demonstrate how music festivals contribute to local and regional development, not merely by attracting tourists, but by engaging people in acts of creation, invention and sustaining of place identity, and community capacity building. There are answers in this book to the global question: can festivals revitalize and sustain rural communities?' Don Getz, University of Calgary, Canada 'This volume is an exemplar of what a research monograph should be, an academic masterpiece providing a turning point in an intellectual current that speaks far beyond its immediate audience. The authors should be commended for making their landmark contribution in an open, accessible, and ultimately intellectually satisfying way.' LSE Review of Books