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The event and festival life cycle – developing a new model for a new context

Holmes, Kirsten; Ali-Knight, Jane


Kirsten Holmes


The events and festivals literature relies on theories and models borrowed from tourism studies which may insufficiently account for the unique characteristics of events and festivals. Using four case studies from Australia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the UK,
this paper analyses event and festival life cycles using the Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC) framework (Butler, 1980).
Design/ methodology/ approach
The paper is conceptual in that it theorises the range of event and festival life cycle trajectories, however four event case studies are also used to illustrate this approach.
Findings facilitate an extension of Butler’s model to include additional trajectories and accompanying underpinning critical factors that better explain and predict the nature of events and festivals.
Research limitations/ applications:
The paper is based on four case studies from the cultural sector, which is ideal for developing theory but limits the contexts examined in this paper. The findings are only applicable to recurring events and festivals.
Practical applications.
ournal of Contemporary Hospitality ManagementIn the new model seven different pathways, ranging from continued growth to cancellation, suggest potential opportunities and risks for events and festivals. The results are of particular relevance for event managers, who can use the case studies and trajectories as reference points for event growth and consolidation.
Social Applications:
The case studies reveal that successful events are seen to have strong ties to their local communities and are rooted in the destination.
Originality/ value:
The paper’s originality is in both the context of utilising diverse international cultural festival and events as case studies and the proposal of 7 alternative pathways for events and festivals,which extend Butler’s TALC to the unique context of these temporal phenomena.


Holmes, K., & Ali-Knight, J. (2017). The event and festival life cycle – developing a new model for a new context. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 29(3), 986-1004.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 16, 2017
Online Publication Date Apr 1, 2017
Publication Date Mar 20, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 25, 2017
Publicly Available Date Mar 21, 2019
Journal International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Print ISSN 0959-6119
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 29
Issue 3
Pages 986-1004
Keywords TALC; Event trajectories; Event life cycles; Butler; Events and Festivals
Public URL


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