Quaderni ASK. The phenomenon of Art Festivals 5/2011. An empirical and legal analysis Maria Lillà Montagnani, Ilaria Morganti, Maria Chiara Muti - PDF

Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi ASK (Art, Science and Knowledge) Laboratorio di economia e gestione delle istituzioni e delle iniziative artistiche e culturali Quaderni ASK 5/2011 The phenomenon of

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Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi ASK (Art, Science and Knowledge) Laboratorio di economia e gestione delle istituzioni e delle iniziative artistiche e culturali Quaderni ASK 5/2011 The phenomenon of Art Festivals An empirical and legal analysis Maria Lillà Montagnani, Ilaria Morganti, Maria Chiara Muti Maurizio Nannucci, Explore, neon, 2005 (Galleria Fumagalli, Bergamo) Quaderni ASK - 4/2011 Introduction In the last few years there has been an explosion of art festivals around Europe as this type of event seems to be very appealing, whether as local or global attractions. Art festivals are a very challenging field of research as they rapidly became a very important cultural phenomena and are now at the core of many national cultural programs. The European scenario is extremely rich both in terms of forms and quantity. The Italian state of art, as well, shows that this sector is highly prolific and vibrant: according to OIFEC (Osservatorio Italiano Festival ed Eventi Culturali), a monitoring body which analyses the development and the impacts of festivals, the number of Italian festivals is 945, growing from 883 in just two years, with investments for 400 million of euros. Besides being very popular, festivals are currently considered one of the most trendy way of promoting culture since they are a suitable vehicle to introduce art into contemporary life. As the festival practice is much utilized, in reason of its flexibility capable of satisfying multiple needs, there are many kind of festivals: the festival formula can be applied to various topics. The most evident features of festivals are the high concentration of performances in a specific space and time, the live dimension, the ability of creating strong relationships among territory, casting community and cultural identity and the promotion of art mixing culture and entertainment. 1 Hence festivals can be comprised in Golblatt s declaration of that special event recognizes a unique moment in time with ceremony and ritual to satisfy specific needs. 2 Recent tendencies reveal a growing request for activities and attractions which mix pleasure, culture and learning. Festivals have proved themselves to be a winning policy as they fill up the cultural divide of modern society and satisfy its need for authenticity. 3 Their peculiarity of being an event in progress, with a precise cultural theme developed through live performances makes them extremely appreciated. Festivals are seen as occasions in which the crowds, the noise and the chaos are an essential part of the event, enhancing people participation strongly, making them feel belonging to a community, taking part in the rites and sharing a common interest. Moreover, it seems that festival is an appropriate way for different forms of art to be manifested. Quite often, they are organized by the explicit intent of artists to have an opportunity for displaying their works: in a time where there are no longer patrons, artists tend to gather and find occasions for meetings to share ideas. They have a great importance as catalyst and driver for new works. Often, festivals are the only way for specific forms of art to reach the public. For example, festivals are a vital opportunity for independent film productions which hardly reach the standard fare; or in Italy, it can be said that the experimental theatre is strongly supported by these manifestations, as generally, such performances are not in the bill of Italian theatres. Focusing on the role played by festivals for the community, it is important to highlight that they suggest a different approach to the arts and they are usually easy to access. Festivals informal settings break down the barriers which sometimes certain categories of people might feel attending 1 Guido Guerzoni, I festivals di apprendimento culturale in Italia nel 2006/2009, in Economia della Cultura, 2009, 1. 2 Ross Derrett in Ian Yeoman, Martin Robertson, Jane Ali-knight, Siobhan Drummond & Una MCMahon - Beattie, Festival and events management an International arts and culture perspective, Elsevier Butterworth Heinemann, 2004, B. Maussier, Festival management e destinazione turistica - I festival come nuovi media della società post industriale, Hoepli, 2010, performances in institutional venues. In fact, they are celebratory events which present cultural contents in an unusual and casual way as they encourage involvement rather than contemplation. 4 The audience has clearly an active role since the event is based on the participation of a selected community in a common rite. The open stage offered by the city itself and the cheerful atmosphere invite people participation making the access more direct both for technical and social reasons: going to prestigious theatre or museums can be difficult for people who think themselves socially and culturally inadequate. For participants, these events are generally perceived as a special dimension to be explored as they are a moment of great emotional involvement. The live experience is precious and priceless as the audience interprets the festivals as an initiation for shaping their attitudes. This kind of event makes people live the culture and enjoy a creative adventure. In festivals, it is possible to experience cultural consumption as the audience both watches the emerging of art from artists and has an active role in the creative process. The so called festival goers look for a new kind of experience, an occasion to gather and an opportunity to gain more valuable knowledge as the traditional means of acquiring culture seem to be out-dated. Moreover, the accessibility is encouraged by favourable pricing policies: many festivals are admission free or provide inviting promotions. This opportunity can encourage new behaviours and experiences of people who are not usually involved in cultural consumption. Festivals generate a variety of effects which impact on the local territories and communities such as artistic, social, cultural, economical and political ones. The sum of these elements makes clear that the cultural events and festivals can be a resource for the hosting area, and they are an expression of value. Festivals become indeed important components of policy choices since they respond to the essential need of gathering, exposing opinions and belonging to a group. They greatly promote the circulation of ideas and people and grant the right of freedom of expression. Furthermore, festivals play a fundamental role in shaping the cultural identity of the local communities, identities which are constantly subject to a process of renewal and revision: in this globalized and multicultural society, it is important to enhance the value of the variety of tradition and cultural patrimonies and to promote continuous contacts and exchanges in order to favour social integration. To gain this objective, one of the advantages of the festival practice is the possibility of reaching broad audiences as it represents an ideal location for the different cultural streams and phenomena. The open accessibility encourages intercultural interactions among people and makes festivals essential for education and the promotion of culture. However, festivals often need to prove their existence through their ability to generate a positive economic impact. In some countries, such as UK, they are considered a remunerative field for investments as they generate economic benefits to various stakeholders. They have proved to be remunerative: an increased tourism results as well as major employment for the locals and an increment of income for the host economy. A shining example of how festivals can be used for both cultural and economic reasons is Scotland which has strategically based its renewal on festivals and events. The Scotland case can be taken as an elucidation of festivals tasks in modern societies and how they are inserted into national policies. Indeed, the Scottish Government promotes events throughout the country for the entire year concentrating in Edinburgh which presents a different festival each month. They found a cheerful and remunerative way to promote their culture and 4 Karp in Art Festivals and the European Public Culture, Project no , University of Sussex, 2008, 23. 2 traditions, develop tourism and employment, and establish a national agency, EventScotland, in order to develop a viable portfolio of events to attract visitors to Scotland, to enhance the country s international profile, to strengthen its sporting and cultural infrastructure and to maximize the economic, social and environmental benefits produced by events in all parts of the country. Since art festivals have been widely developing as a new form of promoting arts and as a new way of participation in cultural life and since their economical role is increasing because of their capability to move resources and generate impacts on local communities, their legal protection becomes a priority to be discussed. Festivals have been subject of study mainly from an economic, managerial or social point of view while little has been said about the relevance of this new cultural product from a legal point of view. The lack of debate makes them an interesting, unexplored field of research. Given the relevance of this phenomenon, both from an economic and above all, from a cultural point of view, questions on how to protect festivals arise and need to be answered. What kind of rights are involved in such contexts? Who are supposed to be the owner of these rights? As far as legal protection is concerned, although copyright seems to be the most appropriate tool, the assessment of copyright protection for festivals in terms of structure and contents has never been undertaken. Therefore, given the relevance, of the phenomenon and the lack of explicit copyright protection, the exploration of what legal tools may provide protection to artists and creative activities of festivals ought to be initiated. In order to proceed, tough, it becomes necessary to formulate a definition of the phenomenon. A legal assessment requires a definition of the festival phenomenon in order to state what is considered festival according to the law and what protection can be applied. The term festival is increasingly used in many different contexts for different sorts of events. Therefore, problems concerning the definition of what falls within the category of festival rise indeed. One of the reasons of the difficulty in classification may be that festivals are pre-eminently a composite topic of study, reaching across the usual demarcation lines that separate fields of expertise. Definitions of festivals may be found in the economic field where the topic has been widely discussed. Nevertheless, even though there has been a lot of research and study, and even an attempt to conduct a census, 5 making 5 Non si tratta per altro di un vizio nazionale, dacché in Europa e nel mondo non si contano più i festival nati nel corso degli ultimi anni,[ ] La questione principale, semmai, è rappresentata dalla difficile identificazione dei criteri di classificazione (si veda ad esempio il pionieristico tentativo di Getz and Frisby 1988), che rende problematica qualsiasi opera di censimento (Frey 2000,); per i soli festival musicali europei, ad esempio, le stime oscillano tra i 1000 ipotizzati da Pahlen (1978) e Dümling (1992) e i 2000 censiti da Galeotti (1992), [ ] L indeterminatezza semantica si riflette sulla variabilità delle stime: uno studio sistematico condotto da Heather Rolfe (1992,) individuò nel festival musicali nella sola Europa, laddove Cécile Maillard (1994,) ne censì 864, di cui 350 dedicati alla musica colta; un numero largamente superiore a quello fornito per lo stesso anno dal Ministero della Cultura transalpino, che per il medesimo genere asserì l esistenza di 245 manifestazioni. In Italia questi problemi hanno superato da tempo una soglia critica, dacché il fenomeno tende a connotarsi come un autentica mania: il numero delle iniziative è ormai incalcolabile (causa l elevato tasso di natalità e mortalità di esperienze spesso circoscritte ad ambiti locali), tanto da rendere vano qualsiasi tentativo di censire in modo rigoroso le manifestazioni che costellano il territorio nazionale e di comprenderne l effettiva portata, vuoi per la genericità della formula festival, che rende problematiche le comparazioni, vuoi per il debordante successo di quelli culturali e segnatamente letterari, se è vero che l'associazione Italiana Editori nel 2005 ne ha censiti ben 193. Guido Guerzoni, I festivals di apprendimento culturale in Italia nel 2006/2009, in Economia della Cultura, 2009, sense of this multi-faced phenomenon is still a difficult task and even in the economic literature, there is no single definition. This paper intends to give a deeper insight on the world of art festivals, through an empirical and legal analysis that aims at highlighting the main features and issues regarding it, and at assessing the cultural characteristics and managerial complexities that recur in the organization process of such events. The first part presents the benchmark analysis and the methods and criteria utilized for the collection of data and the importance of an empirical study for legal purposes. The second part of the work focuses on the legal questions, regarding the protection of these events, taking grounds on all the relevancies given by the benchmark results. 1. Benchmark analysis As already mentioned, a festival is no doubt a complex and multiform cultural product. Accordingly, the only way to face this phenomenon is to gradually dismantle all the disciplinary boundaries and to watch and analyze what experience and general knowledge would suggest. Thus, it is important to widen the field of research, to analyze not only the economic effects for various stakeholders, but especially the intangible benefits of these events in regard to arts, culture and society. In order to find a definition of festival, an empirical analysis has been carried out through the construction of a benchmark. Creating a benchmark and collecting data from reality have been a useful tool to compare the recurring characteristics of festivals, their different forms of representation and their implications in terms of legal protection. The analysis of the managerial asset can support the formulation of a definition of festival and of hypothesis of protection consistent with the specificities of festivals that rise at empirical level. In particular, the sample is composed by fifty European festivals. In order to have the most balanced assorted scenario as possible, festivals have been chosen from various references, starting from the following criteria: genre, fame and geographical location. Since this work is concentrated on the phenomenon of art festivals, the analyzed events belong to the main common categories, i. e. literary festivals, festivals of ideas, cinema festivals, music festivals, theatre and other performing arts festivals. Another fundamental factor in the choice of these festivals is their fame both at a national and international level since it can be interesting to watch how the festival practice, which, in spite of its quasi typical structure, changes accordingly to the notoriety and the relevance of the event. The last criterion adopted for the construction of the benchmark is the geographical location of the festivals. The events are collected from the international panorama especially from the UK world. In fact, UK is increasingly focusing on festivals as they are seen as an emerging phenomenon and a very remunerative sector both economically and for developing cultural policies. It is important to state that the benchmark does not claim to be wholly representative of all the existing art festivals, but intends to be a deep source for a wide comparison of data. Since the investigation aims at outlining the principal topics of art festivals, the data were collected accordingly to certain criteria: (a) territory; (b) theme and genre; (c) audience involvement; (d) fundraising; (e) visibility and participation; and (f) accessibility. These parameters were chosen 4 among others as they are believed to be pertinent to the task by contributing to the knowledge of real details on the cases and they comprise a large number of issues deriving from the use of festivals for spreading culture. Namely, the territory parameter underlines the relevance of the cultural patrimony of a place and the sense of belonging to a community. In addition, analyzing the different types of festival and dividing them accordingly to the kind of artistic expression can help in pointing out how the theme of the event might influence the outcome of the festival. The audience involvement, i. e. whether the attending public is an active subject or just a passive consumer of the festival adventure, the visibility and participation considerations draw the attention to the visiting public and provide an overview on the contents of festivals, how they are presented to the public, what the major points of interest are and why some events are more popular than others. Finally, fundraising and accessibility are extremely significant with regard to culture development and people participation since funds deeply influence the organization of the happening and the terms of access give an idea of how concretely attendance is involved. Among these criteria, three of them resulted more relevant and characterizing than the others, namely: the territory, the audience involvement and the public financial support. As a matter of fact, the common features that raise repeatedly in the analysis of all different case studies are: (i) the importance of the territory and of the cultural background; (ii) the live experience of the cultural products both on the supply side and the consumption side; (iii) the public initiative in organizing and supporting festivals. (i) The territory is actually one of the components for building the cultural identity of a community. Culture is fundamental to promote the continued renaissance of the city and has a role to play in creating a more inclusive and sustainable community. A festival brings distinction to the image and profile of the city: it enriches the experience of the city centre and makes each community unique in history or sense of place. Some destinations are automatically associated with the festival they usually host (e.g. Glastonbury and its music festival). Moreover, the reciprocal relationship of a territory with its community is of major interest: the morphology and the landscape of a place deeply influence the cultural development of its population. In fact, a congruence can be seen between festivals and the changes in a national selfimage on different aspects of the society. Positive legacies of festivals include the establishment or the strengthening of traditions and values held by residents. Hence, it can be said that it is the community that owns the event as the festival is more than just a celebration: it is instead a reflection of the community s social and political culture and values, demonstrating mechanisms for the accommodation of a variety of interests within an event framework. Sometimes, festivals can be a great occasion of revitalizing a specific territory, giving new direction to its cultural and economic context. In this sense, there is an irreplaceable locus concept which means that a festival must be set in that particular location because often times places can relate stories better than people can. A double implication exists among festivals and places; on the one hand, a matter of great importance, is the capacity of the territory to create a space adequate for cultural exchange; on the other hand festivals, as much as any historical phenomenon, can influence and transform the normal roles and functions of the site
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