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New book: Music Festivals and Regional Development in Australia (Chris Gibson and John Connell, Ashgate, 2012)
Posted on: Fri, 2012-05-18 12:35
In April CAMRA researcher Professor Chris Gibson (University of Wollongong) launched his book Music Festivals and Regional Development in Australia, marking a milestone in his 10-year research endeavour on the subject. Co-authored with fellow University of Sydney Academic Professor John Connell, the book evolved from ARC research, which attempted to canvass the breadth of Australia’s festival scene.
“With population decline, aging and uncertainty around the future of rural Australia many places are putting on festivals as one means to bring tourists in, bring their communities together or simply to have fun,” Professor Gibson said. “Country towns are in some ways they are still dependent on industries like farming but they’ve also been reinvented, to some extent, by tourism,” he said.
The new book assesses the possibilities and pitfalls of music festivals as a means to stimulate regional development, including a hard-nosed analysis of economic impacts and a broader set of regional development concerns including social exclusion, musical creativity, environmental controversy and cultural capital.
Reviews of the book:
‘Music Festivals and Regional Development in Australia provides an extremely welcome and highly readable contribution to our understanding of how events contribute to regional economies and communities. Although Australian in focus, the book is internationally relevant. Via a series of excellent case studies as well as a general overview of the field, the book is essential reading for any regional economic or tourism organisations that seeks to harness the attraction of music and the arts for regional development.’
C. Michael Hall, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
‘Gibson and Connell have produced a must-read book for students and fans of music festivals, indeed of festivals in general. They demonstrate how music festivals contribute to local and regional development, not merely by attracting tourists, but by engaging people in acts of creation, invention and sustaining of place identity, and community capacity building. There are answers in this book to the global question: can festivals revitalize and sustain rural communities?’
Don Getz, University of Calgary, Canada
Related media coverage:
Regional research finds groove in music festival book: http://media.uow.edu.au/news/UOW123035.html
When big festivals hit the wrong note: http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/news/local/news/general/when-big-festivals-hit-the-wrong-note/2537948.aspx
Website for the book: