Festspace at ATLAS 2020: Events and Cultural Tourism
Social responses to the global pandemic
The closing session of ATLAS 2020, with a focus on Events and Cultural Tourism, was organized by the FESTSPACE project to discuss the reactions and/or social response to the pandemic in the framework of festivals and festivities. The session took place on the 22nd of October, 2020. At this session, professionals and academics analyzed the social response to the pandemic in relation to festivals and celebrations in Europe, before, during and after the COVID-19 experience.
Social reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic in the field of festivals, celebrations and events has been diverse, all over Europe and the rest of the world. This exceptional situation has created a paradigm shift in the sector of event organization,drawing new lines for the future. During the closing session, Alba Colombo, Open University of Catalonia, and Kristina Lindström, University of Gothenburg, led a debate on the post-pandemic scene in the events sector with Sandy Fitzgerald from Barcelona and Katarina Thorstensson from Goteborg. Two major topics of current interest were analyzed and reflected on: (1) How were communities involved in parties and festivities before COVID-19 and what was the social response (or even activism) during the pandemic, (2) What kind of commitments (or activism) will be maintained and what resources will we need to develop post-pandemic alternatives for how we celebrate and experience festivals and celebrations?