Event Management 21(5) Abstracts

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Event Management, Vol. 21, pp. 533–543
1525-9951/17 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/152599517X
15053272359004
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2017 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Emerging Models of the Eventful City

Greg Richards

NHTV Breda and Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands

Cities around the world are increasingly using events as a tool to generate a wide range of effects, including image enhancement, income generation, and social cohesion. However, the use of events as an urban policy tool is hampered by the fact that events themselves also have their own objectives, such as making a profit or advancing the agenda of national and international organizations. In some cases, the objectives of the events and the city may coincide, but in other cases, they may not. Therefore, for cities there is a growing challenge in coordinating their events program in order to maximize the benefits for the city as a whole, while also supporting individual events. Many cities have already developed specific events policies and support mechanisms, but these tend to treat events as individual occurrences, rather than as an integral part of the urban ecology. Richards and Palmer have argued that the “eventful city” needs to take a strategic, holistic view of its events portfolio in order to move from being a city full of events to developing “eventfulness.” This article considers how some cities are developing more holistic approaches to event policy and eventfulness. In reviewing the events policies of cities worldwide, it identifies three emerging policy models: event-centric policy, sector-centric policy, and network-centric policy. The article further considers the implications of these different models for events and events policies in cities.

Key words: Eventful cities; Urban events; Event programs; Event portfolios; Urban regimes; Governance

Address correspondence to Greg Richards, Academy for Leisure, NHTV Breda, Postbus 3917, 4800 DX Breda, The Netherlands. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 21, pp. 545–561
1525-9951/17 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/152599517X
15053272359013
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2017 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Major Events Programming in a City: Comparing Three Approaches to Portfolio Design

Vladimir Antchak* and Tomas Pernecky

*Department of Hotel, Resort and Spa Management, College of Business, University of Derby, Derbyshire, UK
†Faculty of Culture and Society, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Event portfolio design is increasingly important from both academic and industry perspectives. The purpose of this article is to discuss and conceptualize the strategic process of event portfolio planning and development in different urban contexts in New Zealand. A qualitative multiple case study was conducted in three cities: Auckland, Wellington, and Dunedin. Primary data were collected by interviewing city event planners from city councils and relevant council controlled organizations. Secondary data were obtained by the analysis of the relevant documents, including city event policies and strategies, annual reports, statements, and activity plans. Thematic analysis revealed the existence of distinctive portfolio approaches in the studied cases, which can be compared and differentiated by applying the following parameters: Formality, Intentionality, Directionality, and Rhythmicity. Together, these parameters represent a “built-in equalizer” that can be used to balance the opposing values of diverse approaches and adjust them within current city objectives. The article provides a rich and broad context, which enables an understanding of the strategic nature of event portfolios and their implementation within a wider city development agenda.

Key words: Event management; Event policy; Event tourism; Major events; Portfolio of events; New Zealand

Address correspondence to Vladimir Antchak, Department of Hotel, Resort and Spa Management, College of Business, University of Derby, 1 Devonshire Road, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6RY, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1298 330587; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 21, pp. 563–573
1525-9951/17 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/152599517X
15053272359022
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2017 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Music Festivals and Eventfulness: Examining Eventful Cities by Event Genres and Policy Agendas

Alba Colombo

Arts and Humanities Department, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

In recent decades, cities have used events as tools to address concrete challenges, such as urban regeneration, social cohesion, and economic growth. An eventful city generates programs of events to support long-term policy agendas, and increase “eventfulness.” However, little attention has been paid to how variables such as event size, type, political strategies, or organizational structure may influence the level of eventfulness in a city. This exploratory empirical study of Barcelona as an eventful city analyzes the relationship between event genres and policy agendas. It examines two music festivals, Primavera Sound and Sonar, and the event policy context deriving from two different administrations. The data are drawn mainly from semistructured in-depth interviews and document analysis. The article concludes with some reflections about the importance of including event genres and policy agendas in the analysis of eventfulness.

Key words: Music festivals; Eventful cities; Policy agendas; Culture events

Address correspondence to Alba Colombo, Arts and Humanities Department, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Av. Tibidabo, 39, 08035, Barcelona, Spain. Tel: +34 93 253 (7531)/+34 628 029 205; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 21, pp. 575–591
1525-9951/17 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/152599517X
15053272359031
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2017 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Developing a Framework for Sustainable Event Cities

Donald Getz

University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

This conceptual article considers meanings, and the process of attaining sustainability in eventful cities. New concepts and approaches are required to organize thoughts about, and set parameters for, discourse on sustainability in the realm of planned events. Ideas and recommendations contained in this article draw from a major research and development project in Sweden in which diverse stakeholders explicitly considered problems associated with event impact assessment and evaluation, and the roles of events in sustainable development. Conceptual foundations include organizational ecology and portfolio management. It is argued that in the sustainable event city there are dual prerequisites—to provide a supportive environment for events, and to ensure that events are a positive force across the entire agenda of policies for green and sustainable cities. A framework is presented that considers three levels of concern: individual events and the need to think beyond greening; managed portfolios of events, in which long-term sustainable growth or value is the aim; and whole populations of events that must remain healthy. An action plan is proposed, indicating how events and the events sector can become a positive force for sustainable cities.

Key words: Sustainability; Strategy; Portfolio; Whole population; Cities; Destinations

Address correspondence to Donald Getz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary, 230 Cranleigh Place, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3M 0N5. E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 21, pp. 593–608
1525-9951/17 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/152599517X
15053272359059
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2017 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

The Practices of the Eventful City: The Case of Incubate Festival

Ilja Simons

Academy for Leisure, NHTV, Breda, The Netherlands

The use of events as policy tools in cities has become widely recognized. However, most studies concerning this topic do not capture the complex interrelationships that underpin the development of an eventful city. This study applies a practice approach, in order to analyze the dynamics of the eventful city practice. It places the urban event practice centrally in the analysis and focuses on the actual “sayings and doings” of the practice. The event practice of the 2015 Incubate festival in Tilburg, the Netherlands, is analyzed by means of ethnographic methods, including participant observation and interviews. Incubate illustrates how both the city and the event are performed within the practice: the event shapes the city and the city shapes the event. However, the integration of the festival into alternative spaces in the city means that it does not increase the visibility of Tilburg, and therefore fails to deliver value to its eventful city policy.

Key words: Eventful cities; Practice approach; Festival; Events; Qualitative research

Address correspondence to Ilja Simons, M.Sc., Academy for Leisure, NHTV, Postbus 3917, 4800 DX Breda, The Netherlands. Tel: +31 6 45462149; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 21, pp. 609–619
1525-9951/17 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/152599517X
15053272359068
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2017 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Animation or Denigration? Using Urban Public Spaces as Event Venues

Andrew Smith

Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster, London, UK

City events are increasingly staged outside purpose-built venues in urban public spaces. Parks, streets, and squares have always been used for civic events, but there is now pressure to use them for a wider range of occasions including large-scale, ticketed events. This article identifies why this trend is occurring and outlines the implications for public spaces. The use of London’s parks as venues for music festivals, elite sport events, and trade exhibitions is the main focus of the article. These events challenge the established functions and meanings of public parks. Noted positive effects include challenging the rather stiff character of Victorian parks and encouraging different users/uses. However, ticketed events restrict access to parks and various processes currently afflicting urban public spaces—privatization, commercialization, and securitization—are exacerbated when parks are used as event venues. These effects are often dismissed as inherently temporary, but staging events can have enduring effects on the provision and accessibility of public space. The article concludes that staging events in public spaces is increasingly driven by a neoliberal agenda, with place marketing and revenue generation key priorities. This needs to be more fully acknowledged in analyses of the eventful city.

Key words: Parks; London; Privatization; Commercialization; Festivals; Cities

Address correspondence to Andrew Smith, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Rd, London, UK NW1 5LS. Tel: 02035066658; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Event Management, Vol. 21, pp. 621–634
1525-9951/17 $60.00 + .00
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3727/152599517X
15053272359077
E-ISSN 1943-4308
Copyright © 2017 Cognizant, LLC.
Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.

Eventful Cities as Global Innovation Catalysts: The Sónar Festival Network

Alba Colombo* and Greg Richards†

*Arts and Humanities Department, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
†Academy for Leisure, NHTV, DX Breda, The Netherlands

As the economy becomes more globalized, a growing number of events are exerting an influence on activity and innovation globally in different fields. Therefore, we argue that “eventful cities” can act as important catalysts for eventfulness in other places as well. This article analyzes the case of the Sónar electronic music festival, an event that originated in Barcelona, Spain, but which now runs different editions in many cities worldwide. This empirical study of the innovation capacity of a cultural event examines how a locally based music festival has transformed itself by using the global “space of flows” to influence the local “space of places.” The Sónar Festival has turned itself into a relational hub in a global cultural network, using stylistic innovations to link geographically dispersed nodes in order to create new products, open up new markets, and strengthen its own position as a global source of eventfulness.

Key words: Eventful cities; Festivals; Innovation; Space of flows; Space of places

Address correspondence to Alba Colombo, Open University of Catalunya (OUC), Av. Tibidabo, 39-43, 08035 Barcelona, Spain. Tel: +34 932 537 531; E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it