1st Edition

Transforming Leisure in the Pandemic Re-imagining Interaction and Activity during Crisis

Edited By Briony Sharp, Rebecca Finkel, Katherine Dashper Copyright 2023
    240 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    240 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is the first book to critically explore international leisure during the COVID-19 pandemic. It analyses the ways in which the pandemic has impacted upon our leisure practices and our leisure lives, focusing on three key spaces ・ public, private, and digital.

    The book seeks to understand how changes in leisure have led to transformations in the ways we have had to ‘do’ and ‘redo’ activities, such as incorporating digitalisation and distancing measures, as well as dealing with restrictions on social interaction, gatherings, and cultural activities. It presents a series of case studies covering topics as diverse as music festivals, theatre on-screen, walking, static cycling, smartphone use, holidays, and the ‘lockdown leisure’ of preschool children, including people across the life course, from young children to older retired people. The book discusses changes in patterns of behaviour, leisure experiences, and leisure environments worldwide and critically re-evaluates what leisure is and what it means in contemporary societies. It illustrates both the significant impact the pandemic has had on leisure and the important role leisure plays in helping support and maintain individual and community well-being.

    This is fascinating reading for any student, researcher, or practitioner with an interest in leisure studies, tourism, events, sociology, cultural studies, or performance studies.

    List of contributors


    Briony Sharp, Rebecca Finkel and Katherine Dashper

    PART I Transformations in public spaces

    1 Nightlife leisure activities during COVID-19: Restrictions, spatial transformations, and social changes in clubbing space in the examples of Polish cities

    Grzegorz Iwanicki and Anna Dłużewska

    2 The ritualistic nature of pandemic leisure

    Briony Sharp and Rebecca Finkel

    3 The impact of COVID-19 on travel behaviour and holiday intentions: Evidence from Greece

    Nikolaos Trihas, Konstantinos Vassakis, Ioannis Kopanakis, Yannis Nikoloudakis, Ioannis Kefaloukos, Evangelos Pallis and Evangelos K. Markakis

    4 Exploring African American college student experiences of leisure-time physical activity and psychological wellbeing during COVID-19

    Kristine M. Fleming and Sarah L. Price

    5 How did music festival stakeholders face pandemic uncertainty? Two case studies: Bachfest in Leipzig and BAM Festival in Barcelona

    Jordi Oliva

    PART II Transformations in private spaces

    6 Toddler and pre-school children’s physical activity during a pandemic

    Georgia Allen and Philippa Velija

    7 Children’s and families’ changing everyday geographies: Playing, learning, and exercising outdoors during COVID-19

    Henriette Bertram, Stefanie Hennecke, Daniel Munderlein and Johanna Niesen

    8 Bridge during a time of disruption: Pandemic playing, everyday habits, and situated writing

    Miriam Snellgrove and Samantha Punch

    9 Rhythms in home-based leisure during the COVID-19 lockdown

    Metin Argan, Şohret Pakiş, Umit Kesim and Mehpare Tokay Argan

    PART III Transformations in digital spaces

    10 Changing "theatre-going" behaviours during COVID-19: Theatre on the screen

    Fan Wu

    11 Digital leisure as sites of diasporic solidarity

    Jennie Jordan and Indrani Lahiri

    12 COVID-19’s impact on leisure coping and smartphone use

    Christine Ausman, Susan Hutchinson and Kimberley Woodford

    13 Stories of older adults’ resilience in adapting leisure behaviours due to COVID-19 restrictions

    Sue Stuart



    Briony Sharp is Lecturer in Marketing, Innovation, Tourism, and Events division at the University of the West of Scotland, UK, and Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her most recent research focuses on the social impacts and legacies from events, event governance, volunteering and engagement, and critical event studies.

    Rebecca Finkel is Professor of Critical Event Studies at Queen Margaret University, UK, and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Rebecca’s research situates events and festivals within social justice, gender in/equality, and cultural identity frameworks.

    Katherine Dashper is Professor and Director of Research Degrees in the School of Events, Tourism, and Hospitality Management at Leeds Beckett University, UK. Her research focuses on gender and multispecies approaches to understanding leisure, sport, tourism, and events.