Measuring attitudinal change in community light festivals

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


This chapter contributes through presenting the findings of utilising an innovative interdisciplinary methodology to research, from participants' perspective, attitudinal change in two new community light festivals: Bexhill After Dark and University of East London (UEL) After Dark. Applying a research method not previously employed in events management with participants, before and shortly after their involvement, enabled the researchers to measure change in attitudes. Specifically, attitudes related around what participants expected, key elements to be included, and the benefits of community festivals, all of which contribute to developing a critical understanding of how such local events relate to motivation and engagement, an area of significant interest. The community participants included university students, skaters, mobility scooter users, and neuro-divergent young people between the ages of 14-19.

Both festivals, were designed to attract local audiences. Bexhill After Dark, reaching audiences in excess of 10,000, aimed to re-engage local communities post-pandemic, while UEL After Dark was developed to support connecting students and the local community with the campus. This methodology has not previously been applied to community events and attitudinal change and is an
under researched area of events management. Findings indicate that there is an awareness of the value of events for community cohesion and they are a great opportunity to engage local people, there is limited appreciation of the time and effort involved and the opportunity such events create for cultural regeneration and employment. These findings contribute to highlighting the importance
of festival organisers creating opportunities for participation of local communities and the significance of the need for concerted engagement with audience development. Findings also contribute through providing events researchers with a new method, for understanding and evaluating culture, authenticity, meaning, motivation and engagement in local community events.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReimagining Community Festivals and Events
Subtitle of host publicationCritical and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
EditorsAllan Stewart Jepson, Raphaela Stadler, Trudie Walters
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9781003429760
ISBN (Print)9781032552514
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2024

Publication series

NameRoutledge Critical Event Studies Research Series

Bibliographical note

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