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Festspace reflections on festivals, events and public space during COVID-19

Our FESTSPACE team has been contributing to discussions and debates about the future of festivals, events and public space during the COVID-19 global pandemic and as we emerge from its more urgent effects. In this post we pull together these contributions in their various multimedia forms. Festivals, events and COVID-19: Navigating a global pandemic Firstly, […]

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‘Stories from the Streets’: COVID-19 and (hyper) local collective responses

While formal, officially sanctioned social gatherings were banned during lockdown, more localised and creative responses to the restrictions associated with COVID-19 were evident, across the world. From the balcony concerts of Barcelona, to the socially distanced street parties celebrating VE Day in London and the neighbourhood DJ sets taking place in other cities, the everyday, […]

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Festivals and events in London’s parks

In 2019, The Royal Parks ran a competition for artists and photographers based on the question: ‘What does Hyde Park mean to you?’. Several of the winning entries depicted music festivals – which was apt as they were displayed on the fence surrounding the British Summer Time Festival. This prominent installation highlighted that London’s parks […]

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Innovative events spaces in times of COVID-19: spring on the balconies, collective representation and technology

People across the world have had to get used to a situation where cultural activity based on collective participation and occupation of public space is suspended. However, culture is still important and people instinctively want to come together to enjoy collective experiences. Frustration and fear of an uncertain future has been converted into creative energy, […]

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Updates from Barcelona: Cultural festivals, local and global interaction

Rome Statute In a city with a high density and agglomeration, the Barcelona research team, focused on observing, during the first stage of the project, the intensity of uses of diverse public spaces in the city  by events and culture festivals. The project analyses the coexistence of different events in these spaces alongside the creation […]

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FESTSPACE researchers contribute to public meeting on the commodification of Edinburgh’s public spaces

On Wednesday 22nd January, 2020, more than 700 people attended a public meeting titled “City for Sale: The Commodification of Edinburgh’s Public Spaces” in Central Hall, Edinburgh. Organised by the Cockburn Association, this event was the outcome of controversy developing over several months caused by the use of Princes Street Garden for Christmas Markets and […]

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Call for papers: Festivals and the City (2020 RGS-IBG Conference)

In the context of the 2020 RGS-IBG Annual Conference, held at the Royal Geographical Society in London from Tuesday 1 to Friday 4 September 2020, the Festspace research team has released the following call for papers for a session focused on Festivals and the city. Abstracts can be sent by 31st January 2020. Festivals and the city: […]

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Dublin City: Supporting social and cultural inclusion through festivals and events

In recent decades Dublin has become increasingly culturally diverse and is now home to more people of non-Irish origin than anywhere else in the state. The city has undergone significant transformations, driven largely by ‘technological advance, demographic shifts, and by new forms of social participation and expression’ (Dublin City Council, 2016: 5). Through a series […]

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Glasgow: an eventful city?

Since the 1990s, events and festivals in Glasgow have strategically been used to renew the image of the city, in the context of a post-industrial strategy focused on urban revitalisation. However, the role granted to festivals in the city has varied according to the date, type of acts and organizers, from one-off major sporting and […]

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