An investigation of the effects Glastonbury Festival has on the day-to-day lives of the communities of local villages
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The study explores how Glastonbury Festival has a social impact on its surrounding communities and investigates how this affects the resident’s day-to-day lives using Small’s model of social impact (Small, 2007, cited in Bladen et al., 2012, p.369). In order to achieve this, the researcher created realistic and achievable aims and objectives, which were used to critically analyse and evaluate information on the social impacts of festival’s and large-scale events and in particular, how Glastonbury Festival affects its local communities. An evaluation of secondary data was conducted, investigating the effects festivals and events have on their local residents within and how these related to the Small’s model. The literature on the subject chosen, was critically reviewed and analysed to highlight any themes and patterns between the existing literature and the project in question. The project provided evidence that the literature is minimal on the social impact of communities alone, as most is in connection to economic impact. The primary data collected within the study was qualitative data, in the form of six semistructured interviews, with participants who lived within the four chosen areas surrounding Glastonbury (West Pennard, Shepton Mallet, Pilton and Glastonbury town). Letters were sent to residents to recruit potential participants for the project. The six participants selected were of the ages 18-30 years old, 31-50 years old and 51 and over (two participants from each age group). A matrix was created and used to analyse and cross reference the data collected from participants and that discovered in the literature. The key findings highlighted that there are mixed views of the residents, but the views were consistent within the respective age groups. The study also suggests that there is little to no data referring to the impact on children in surrounding communities due to the festival. The overall findings revealed that Glastonbury Festival does create a vast social impact on its residents, particularly within the week it is held. However, the findings also concluded that there have been limited studies conducted of social impact within the events sector.
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