Based on interviews and focus group discussions with participating artists in the 2009 Adelaide Fringe Festival, this paper is an interrogation of one aspect of the cultural value of the festival in terms of the benefits it delivers to one of its key constituent communities. The evaluation of special events has tended to focus on measuring the economic benefits that festivals can deliver to local economies. However, scant attention has been paid to the indirect impacts of arts events on communities and in particular to the impacts felt by the artists who participate. The Fringe festival plays a critical role as a facilitator of new work dedicated to creating opportunities for artists to practice their craft. Our research findings suggest that the stated goals of the Fringe – to provide a multi-artform and inclusive platform for the presentation of art works through the provision of resources and other services to artists – are largely being met, and that participating artists report a high degree of satisfaction with the work of the organisation. In terms of impact, the research finds that artists see themselves as the beneficiaries of a number of positive short-term outcomes resulting from their participation in the festival. We call for further longitudinal study to address the potential long-term career development impacts of festival participation for artists.
Field of Research
160502 Arts and Cultural Policy
Socio Economic Objective
950105 The Performing Arts (incl. Theatre and Dance)