The impact of (jazz) festivals: An Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded research report

Emma Webster, George McKay

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Festivals are an essential part of the jazz world, forming regularly occurring pivot points around which jazz musicians, audiences and organizers plan their lives. Funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, the purpose of this report is to chart and critically examine available writing about the impact of jazz festivals, drawing on both academic and 'grey'/cultural policy literature in the field. The review presents research findings under the headings of economic impact; socio-political impact; temporal impact and intensification and transformation of experience; creative impact--music and musicians; discovery and audience development; place-making; the mediation of jazz festivals; and environmental impact. It concludes with a set of recommendations for future research, which identifes gaps in the feld. To accompany the article, a 100-entry 40,000-word annotated bibliography has also been produced, which is freely accessible online.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-193
Number of pages24
JournalJazz Research Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • festival
  • festivals
  • live music
  • creative economies
  • jazz

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