The meaning of cultural festivals: Stakeholder perspectives in Catalunya

Montserrat Crespi‐Vallbona, Greg Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Cultural festivals and events are increasingly becoming arenas of discourse enabling people to express their views on wider cultural, social and political issues. Often the debates polarise into those advocating change and those wishing to preserve “traditional” or “local” culture in the face of modernisation and globalisation. This article analyses the discourse on cultural festivals from the perspective of stakeholders involved in traditional and popular culture events in Catalunya. There is generally a high level of agreement about the aims of cultural events and the cultural content that is appropriate for them. In particular, the importance of cultural events in underpinning Catalan identity is seen as being important. However, stakeholders tend to differ more in the meanings attached to concepts such as identity, with policy makers exhibiting a greater emphasis on economic and political issues, whereas cultural producers are more concerned with social aspects of identity. However, the general consensus on the social role of cultural events between the different stakeholders may be one explanation for the relatively vibrant festival culture in Catalunya
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-122
JournalThe International Journal of Cultural Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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