Festival evaluation: an exploration of seven UK arts festivals

M. Williams, G.A.J. Bowdin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With the increasing demands of stakeholders and professional development in festival organisation, evaluation is becoming recognised as a valuable management tool in demonstrating success and achievement of objectives. However, to date, literature in this area has tended to focus on impacts, satisfaction and on how and why to conduct evaluation, with limited research or published examples covering the approaches taken by individual organisations. This paper explores festival evaluation practice by reviewing current literature and presenting the findings of an exploratory study into the approach taken for evaluation of the seven arts festivals in the United Kingdom. The results suggest that there is a relatively clear understanding of the principles of event evaluation and it forms an essential part of the event planning process. Evaluation is carried out at varying levels of advancement with a variety of methods used, though it is difficult to determine the effectiveness of the evaluations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-203
Number of pages17
JournalManaging Leisure
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


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