CFP: Grassroots Festivals and Place-Making

Special issue call for papers from the Journal of Place Management and Development

Winter 2018

The Journal of Place Management and Development (JPMD) is pleased to invite papers for a special issue on “Grassroots festivals and place-making”

Overview of the Theme

Within the events and festivals literature there has been an examination of place-making and place identity in relation to event tourism; events used strategically by destinations to increase tourism and place promotion (Richards and Palmer, 2010). Whilst there is an acknowledgment that these place-making activities cannot be imposed onto places, there remains a lack of attention paid to grassroots, community-led festivity especially with a focus on places. This special edition is looking to turn attention to smaller-scale, localised festivals, which are rooted in communities and the challenges they face in their particular place-based context. The anthropological foundation of the study of festivity has always placed an emphasis on the importance of place and identities and this needs to be further examined and critiqued to understand how places are shaped, through festivity, as liveable spaces in the 21st Century or, conversely, used as acts of resistance against place-making processes.

The role that festivals play in place-making and cohesion has been explored predominantly in relation to the impacts on the communities themselves. There has been emerging work in the role of social capital in music festivals specifically (Wilks, 2011a; Wilks, 2011b), and also the involvement of communities in the planning and running of events (Clarke and Jepson, 2011; Jepson and Clarke, 2013 & 2015). Indeed, Clarke and Jepson (2011) comment that, ‘to be successful community festivals must ensure that the community is central to all cultural production processes and that the communities’ cultures are evident throughout the festival’ (p. 8). The work of Quinn (2005; 2010) has also been influential within festival studies in examining the role that they play in urban tourism and cultural policy, yet this remains within the context of the event destination.

Many questions remain which need critical examination:

  • Do communities need festivity to ‘make place’?
  • Who is excluded from these iterative activities and what are the implications of this in communities?
  • Are place-making processes sustained beyond the end of the festival?
  • What version of place is being made through grassroots festivals?
  • What role do traditional festivals have in 21st Century communities?
  • Are festivals markers of continuity or signals of change?
  • Can festivities be used as acts of resistance against place-making?
  • How can festivals be used to reinvigorate and reignite local communities and places?
  • What pressures do successful festivals put on communities and place?
  • When do ‘grassroots’ festivals stop being grassroot and lose their tie to their place?


Clarke, A., & Jepson, A. (2011). Power and hegemony within a community festivals. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 2, 7-19.

Jepson, A. & Clarke, A. (2015) (eds). Exploring Community Festivals and Events. London & New York: Routledge.

Jepson A and Clarke A. (2013) Events and Community Development. In: Finkel R, McGillivray D, McPherson G, et al. (eds) Research Themes in Events. Walingford: CABI.

Quinn B. (2005) Arts Festivals and the City. Urban Studies 42: 927-943.

Quinn B. (2010) Arts festivals, urban tourism and cultural policy. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events 2: 264-279.

Richards, G. & Palmer, R. (2010). Eventful Cities: Cultural Management and Urban Revitalisation. Oxford & Burlington: Butterworth Heinemann

Wilks L. (2011a) Bridging and bonding: social capital at music festivals. Journal of Policy Research in Tourism, Leisure and Events 3: 281-297.

Wilks L. (2011b) Social capital in the music festival experience. In: Page S and Connell J (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Events. Abingdon: Routledge, 260-272.


We are looking for papers that focus on small-scale and locally rooted festivity rather than large-scale events. Full academic papers may address the sub-themes listed below, but do not necessarily have to be limited to these:

-Festivity in 21st Century communities and the role of place.
-Festivals rooted in place – dilemmas and challenges.
-Commodification of place-based festivity.
-Inclusion/exclusion in placemaking through festivals (questions of cultural and social capital).
-Traditional festivity: continuity and change.
-Power, control and regulation in community-based festivity and implications on ideas of place.
-Festivity as resistance to place-making.
-Public space and community empowerment through festivity.

We would also welcome case studies which consider the following in relation to specific examples of place-making activity:

  • evaluation/assessment/impact
  • best practices/challenges
  • real-life experiences


Please send a 250-word abstract to Louise Platt ( by 30th November 2016. Notifications of acceptance or rejection will be sent out by 19th December 2016 (please note that a submission can still be rejected in the reviewing process).
Completed papers of between 4,000-6,000 words in length should be submitted via the Journal of Place Management and Development online submission site no later than 30th June 2017

Please select the correct special issue from the dropdown menu.

– Abstract submission: 30th November 2016
– Notification of original acceptance: 19th December 2016
– Full paper submission: 30th June 2017
– Revised paper submissions: January 2018
– Expected formal publication date: Winter 2018/2019

Submissions should follow JPMD author guidelines at

Contact Details:

Guest Editors

Dr. Louise Platt
Manchester Metropolitan University
Faculty of Business and Law
Cavendish Street
M15 6BG

Dr. Jane Ali-Knight

Edinburgh Napier University
Craiglockhart Campus
219 Colinton Road
EH14 1DJ


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