From Festa to Festival: UNESCO Heritage and the (Invented) Tradition of a Cultural Festival

Carmelo Mazza, Jesper Strandgaard

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This is a story about an organization in search of identity and organizational survival. We study the creation, transformation, and maintenance of a cultural festival ‘FestambienteSud’ in a context of weak ties among cultural organizations, local administration, and other local actors in the town of Monte Sant’Angelo. Located in the North of Apulia (Italy) and hosting two UNESCO World Heritage List (WHL) sites, the site with its many different stakeholders and agendas offers a setting to study how management of arts, culture, heritage, and tourism may collide with economics and politics. The festival organization is concerned with the institutional and organizational complexities and dilemmas rising from a pluralistic setting and how they are managed: on the one hand, through exerting flexibility by navigating the troubled waters among the various stakeholders and, on the other hand, by creating stability and taken-for-grantedness by inventing a tradition. Both efforts deployed to secure longtime survival of the cultural festival and its organization. This analysis may help advance our knowledge on dynamics of creation and maintenance of cultural organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Cultural Festivals : Tradition and Innovation in Europe
EditorsElisa Salvador, Jesper Strandgaard Pedersen
Number of pages21
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)9780367649623, 9780367649609
ISBN (Electronic)9781003127185, 9781000562231
Publication statusPublished - 2022
SeriesRoutledge Research in the Creative and Cultural Industries

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