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The Place to Be... Global ! The "Glocal" Configuration of World Festivals through the Case of Les Eurockéennes de Belfort, France

Abstract : The simple aim throughout this book is to ask questions of world festivals, as evidenced in recent advances in research about festivals. The ‘festivalisation of culture’ (Négrier, 2015) approach has seen an expansion in both qualitative and quantitative research in recent years. A few years ago, the research on festivals was going in three directions: a monographic approach (Autissier, 2008); an approach dominated by economic issues, management (Maughan and Bianchini, 2004; Bonet and Schargorodsky, 2012) or tourist attractiveness (Anderson and Getz, 2009); and an approach considering the festivals as peripheral, or exceptional, items of cultural policies. More recently, new opportunities emerged with the crossing of these three approaches with more artistic or aesthetic issues, as we can see in Focus on Festivals (Newbold et al, 2015). At the same time, the interest in the multi-dimensional nature of festivals opens up new questions about the relationship between festivals and public space (Giorgi et al, 2011). The identification of a world category of festival is both logical and paradoxical. It is logical, because, by their history, festivals, more than other cultural enterprises, were the levers for artistic exchange beyond national borders and beyond daily life (Falassi, 1987). Rather than the local and national institutions permanently installed in cities and artistic seasons, the programming of festival is still a powerful tool for the circulation of artists, for sharing tastes, and for cooperation between actors. The global nature of festivals is a substantial element of their dynamics, even if not all of them have the same degree of international openness. That’s why festivals seem to be not only in perfect harmony with the contemporary anthropological moment, but also a response to several ongoing issues of cultural policies: cultural democratisation (Négrier et al, 2010), the legitimisation of local authorities (Watermann, 1998), the transformation of artistic genres (Dowd et al, 2004), cultural diversity or European identity (Maggauda and Solaroli, 2011) or, more generally, territorial identity. The development of mega-events, as a new strategy of distinction for towns and cities, has become a particular research topic (Gold and Gold, 2005; Quinn, 2005; Van Aalst and Van Melik, 2012), not without a causing a critical current (Rojek, 2013). However the world category of festivals can also be paradoxical. Indeed, alongside the considerable growth of these events, the balance of studies about many of them shows how each festival has a singular story, and is always singularly local. Here we have the opportunity to illustrate this from the perspective of a particular event, the Eurockéennes de Belfort. But on this point, the example is widely generalisable. The research discussed in this chapter is based on a dual survey conducted four years apart (2010 and 2014), using the same quantitative and qualitative methods. It is part of a research programme about festivals that began, in France then in Europe, in 2006.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 20, 2017 - 11:11:45 AM
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Aurélien Djakouane, Emmanuel Négrier. The Place to Be... Global ! The "Glocal" Configuration of World Festivals through the Case of Les Eurockéennes de Belfort, France. Newbold, Chris; Jordan, Jennie. Focus on World Festivals. Contemporary Case Studies and Perspectives,, Goodfellow Publishers, pp.19--32, 2016, 978-1-910158-55-5. ⟨10.23912/978-1-910158-55-5-3014⟩. ⟨hal-01638713⟩

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