ABSTRACT

The use of festivals as a way to promote cultural and economic regeneration has been widespread in the United States and many European cities, particularly following World War II (Bassett 1993; Hiller 1990; Hudson 1995; Levin 1982: 10-18; Ley and Olds 1988, 1992; Whitt 1987). International festivals such as Edinburgh in 1947, Dartington in 1948 and the Festival of Britain in 1951 were attempts to use culture and the arts to promote optimism and ‘provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit’ (Henderson 1991: 26). The link between culture and new economies was also important, with a conscious use of art to increase tourism and economic development. There are, however, obvious tensions between the aims of economic regeneration, with its focus on property development, tourism and investment in infrastructure, and cultural regeneration, more concerned with specific communities’ self-development and abilities to draw on the arts as a way to represent themselves and their stories. As Waterman (1998: 64) notes: ‘Prestige projects and place-marketing do not necessarily contribute to cultural regeneration and are more inclined to benefit the local middle class and cultural tourists’.