Event Management 14(4) Abstracts

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Event Management, Vol. 14, pp.261–274
1525-9951/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/152599510X12901814778104
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Emergent Vikings: The Social Ordering of Tourism Innovation

Gunnar Thór Jóhannesson

Anthropological Institute, University of Iceland

During the last three decades, Iceland has experienced a rapid growth of tourism, both in regard to international tourist arrivals and in domestic terms. Tourism has increasingly been taken up as an option for economic development not least at regional levels where innovation in the area has been promoted by public actors. This article focuses on the accomplishment of a particular tourism innovation project, the Gísla Saga project, in the small fishing village of Þingeyri. The article follows how the project emerges through the networking practices of key actors. Particular emphasis is put on exploring how the local village festival, Dýrafjarðardagar, has been related to the innovation project and how that connection plays a part for its accomplishment. Inspired by relational materialism in the form of Actor-Network Theory, the article argues that it is important to follow the enactment of diverse styles of ordering for gaining insight into the emergent cultural economy of tourism. By tracing the practices through which the project is established, the article illustrates some of the ways in which tourism innovation relates to the social ordering of local communities.

Key words: Iceland; Tourism innovation; Cultural economy; Actor-Network Theory (ANT); Ordering; Viking festival

Address correspondence to Gunnar Thór Jóhannesson, Anthropological Institute, University of Iceland, Gimli v/Saemundargata, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland (IS). Tel: +354-525-4160, Fax: +354-525-4179; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 14, pp.275–285
1525-9951/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/152599510X12901814778023
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

“Dancing Around the Ring of Fire”: Social Capital, Tourism Resistance, and Gender Dichotomies at Up Helly Aa in Lerwick, Shetland

Rebecca Finkel

School of Business, Enterprise, and Management Events Management, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, East Lothian, UK

This article explores the linkages between community events and a rise in community social capital by analyzing a case study of the Up Helly Aa fire festival in Lerwick, Shetland. Through ritually repeated action that now translates as tradition, Up Helly Aa interprets and reinterprets what it means to be a Shetlander. It relies on personal donations and local businesses for funding, and this financial self-reliance can be seen to permit exclusionary actions towards visitors and reaffirm notions of traditionally constructed gender roles. This article examines the complex negotiations that take place during the festival surrounding gender, identity, heritage, tourism, and belonging to a place. It concludes that given the physical and social landscape in which the festival occurs, the reutilization of community celebration and fostering of community identity cannot be discounted despite Up Helly Aa’s less than politically correct approaches to inclusionary participation and tourism development.

Key words: Community festivals; Social capital; Shetland events; Viking festivals; Community cohesion; Gender dichotomies; Island tourism

Address correspondence to Rebecca Finkel, Ph.D., Program Leader & Lecturer, Events Management, School of Business, Enterprise, and Management, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University Drive, Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 6UU, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 131 474 0000; Fax: +44 (0) 131 474 0001; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Event Management, Vol. 14, pp.287–300
1525-9951/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/152599510X12901814777989
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Spectacle of Piety on the Brittany Coast

Maura Coughlin

Visual Studies, Bryant University, Smithfield, RI, USA

Writing in the early 20th century, sociologist Max Weber found the modern world increasingly “disenchanted”: belief in the magical and sacred had receded to its uncolonized margins. In France, these margins on the Brittany coast drew a seasonal crowd of cultural tourists throughout the 19th century. Artists and writers who journeyed to the coast of Western Brittany were fascinated by the spectacle of local festive displays such as the yearly religious pardons at St. Anne de Palud. But instead of understanding ritual festivities on the Brittany coast as simply the encounter of an outsider and his or her rural other, we can read these events as collective experiences that provided many ways to be both spectacle and spectator. This article departs from previous studies of art in Brittany in two significant ways: it considers the experience of local travel to coastal festivities (such as pardons) rather than taking tourism only to mean travel on a wider national or international scale. It also widens the focus of previous critical considerations of pardons in paintings to an expanded archive of visual and material culture from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rather than equating rural life and representations of it with an outsider’s longings for an imaginary past, I employ methodologies drawn from feminist cultural criticism and the anthropology of material culture to view Breton pardons and their forms of visual culture as vibrant and ever changing performances and mediations of place and cultural identity. I consider these yearly public rituals as occasions that are marked as separate from ordinary daily routine yet that are also retrospectively integrated to everyday experience through their material and visual culture. Although paintings are central to my argument, this article takes a short detour away from concerns with artistic representation in order to engage with the bodily experience of the pardon, and then makes a return to the visual. This shift attempts to move past a primary focus on the “tourist gaze” and toward an interest in the experiential, concrete poetics of the festive and its relationship to the “everyday.”

Key words: Brittany coast; Breton festivals; Breton pardon; Artistic representation; Visual culture

Address correspondence to Maura Coughlin, Assistant Professor of Visual Studies, Bryant University, Smithfield, RI 02917, USA. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 14, pp.301–308
1525-9951/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/152599510X12901814778069
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Reveillon in Rio de Janeiro

Gerald Greenfield

University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, WI

Brazil’s extensive Atlantic coastline has profoundly influenced the nation’s history, serving as the initial locus for colonial settlement, and, subsequently, the site for almost all its major cities. Rio de Janeiro has long been the nation’s dominant international tourist destination. While Carnival remains the city’s most popular event, Reveillon, the New Years Eve celebration on Copacabana beach in honor of the sea goddess, Iemanjá, has become a major tourist draw. A familiar personage in Brazilian popular culture, Iemanjá is a major deity in African-Brazilian religions. African and African-Brazilian beliefs, historically associated with lower class and mixed race peoples, were long scorned by Brazilian elites as the superstitious practices of ignorant people. The majority of practitioners of African-Brazilian religions in contemporary Brazil are lower class and visibly of mixed race. The Reveillon evokes and commodifies Brazil’s preferred national image as a multicultural, multiracial democracy free of the Western stain of racism. As such, the celebration serves as a confirming ritual for Brazilians while, at the same time, packaging and presenting that image to tourists.

Key words: Brazil; Rio de Janeiro; Tourism; Iemanjá; African-Brazilian religion; New Year’s celebrations

Address correspondence to Gerald Greenfield, Ph. D., Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, 900 Wood Road, Kenosha, WI 53144, USA. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 14, pp.309–318
1525-9951/10 $60.00 + .00
DOI: 10.3727/152599510X12901814777943
Copyright © 2010 Cognizant Comm. Corp.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Come on Home: Visiting Friends and Relatives—The Cape Breton Experience

Keith G. Brown

Cape Breton University, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada

This article investigates visiting friends and relatives (VFR) tourists visiting Cape Breton Island in Atlantic Canada during the summer of 2008. Family and friends who return to Cape Breton Island to attend local festivals and special events and visit tourism attractions were sampled. More specifically, the purpose of this quantitative study is to demonstrate the development of the events and attractions component of the Cape Breton tourist product, establish an understanding of the effects of current marketing approaches of the events and attractions on the VFR market segment of tourists visiting Cape Breton Island, and to investigate if the marketing of unique attractions affects the decisions of the VFR tourist to return to Cape Breton. A randomized sample of 105 completed surveys was conducted at ten special events or locations. The work provides the investigator with data regarding which stimuli are ultimately the most effective when marketing Cape Breton Island to this market segment.

Key words: Cape Breton Island; VFR segmentation; Special events and attractions tourism marketing

Address correspondence to Keith G. Brown, Ph.D., Vice President, Development, Cape Breton University, PO Box 5300, 1250 Grand Lake Road, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada B1P 6L2. Tel: 902 563 1859; Fax: 902-563-1861; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it