The community's perception of the impact of the Big Chill festival on Ledbury.
Houghton, Lucinda Beth
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This study explores the community's perception of the impact of the Big Chill festival upon Ledbury. The impacts investigated are economic, environmental and social. The author believed there was a gap in this topic due to the lack of research conducted on the subject. The Big Chill Festival which recently experienced a change in ownership, has been held in the grounds of Eastnor Castle; just two miles outside of the town of Ledbury, for eight years. By which the author considered this a reasonable period for the event to make a significant impact on Ledbury, The research for the study was both primary and secondary. Within the primary research, the author conducted structured interviews with business owners within Ledbury and a member of the Ledbury Area Development trust. In order to gain a statistical view of the community's perception, eighty five questionnaires were completed by the residents of Ledbury. The information gathered was further discussed in a focus group with six members of the community. By using both quantitative and qualitative research the author was able to achieve a wider account of the current situation between The Big Chill Festival and Ledbury. Secondary research was carried out to establish the general impact of both large scale events and festivals. Several case studies were introduced, which allowed the author to distinguish the information which needed to be uncovered regarding The Big Chill. The content of this dissertation includes an introduction regarding the purpose of the study, and a background to both the festival and Ledbury. The Literature Review which evaluates the relevant secondary information concerning the topic. The Methodology which discusses the reasoning behind the research methods adopted in study, followed by the results of the primary research, leading on the discussion of the findings. Finally a conclusion, which outlines the main findings, recommendations and further research for the future. The main findings of the research were that the overall perception of the Big Chill festival can be viewed as a positive one. The research established that the impact of the festival gives the community pride, recognition, and tourism benefits, but also causes concern regarding crime, antisocial behaviour, noise pollution and traffic congestion. Finally the research uncovered that despite theorists, local businesses are receiving little or no economic benefits. The current situation represented a lack of communication and interaction between the local community and the festival organisers; Festival Republic.
BA (Hons) Events Management
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