Alexandros Vrettos

About the economy impact studies of arts festivals

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The present paper is a premise-like presentation of thoughts about the importance of the Economic Impact Studies of art festivals and their pitfalls. It mentions the possible establishment of a trend of forecasting economic impact studies, and the concern about the way these studies are presented. The concerns that festivals are turned into commodities within the open market competition, and the fact that reports lack clarity are underpinning the paper. The main core of this concern is that nowadays a festival should always be successful enough so as to get the «ok» from the economists hired by public administrations, and consequently receive government subsidies. As a matter of fact, any exacerbation of the world economic crisis begets greater demand for positive economic impacts from the festivals' side. There is an ongoing pressure on festivals to adjust to a type of entrepreneurial competition which is indirectly realized by the centers of power. But hopefully economists will not be the ones to take decisions about the existence or not of a festival. The paper ends with the presentation of the economic impact study of the Manchester International Festival and with the question whether such study will mark the beginning or not of a new way of estimating the economic impacts of festivals with the idea of the Knowledge Capital.

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