Dragan Klaic

The economy of arts festivals: an elusive, untransparent dimension

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The article sketches out a possible agenda for the economic research of the contemporary artistic festivals in Europe, pointing out the raise of their expenditure and probing the relationship between the for-profit and nonprofit festivals. Behind an obsession with growth the author reveals a hidden economy of symbolic capital (trust, voluntary work, income redistribution) that fails to appear on the balance sheets. Economic potential of the festivals lies in the recycling of the cultural capital and talent retention for the local communities, according the author. He challenges some common assumptions about the negative impact of the economic recession 2008/2009 on the festivals and outlines how the recession could stimulate their institutional development and prompt the public authorities to base their funding decisions on monitoring and evaluation.


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