In recent years, event management has developed into a rapidly growing field that has been studied by many universities of the world (Getz, Andersson, & Carlsen, 2010). Festival management as a subfield is also rapidly developing. In fact, festival events play a significant role in the tourism and hospitality industry because these events contribute to the economic development (Pan & Huan, 2013; Carlsen et al., 2009; Yeoman, 2013). A festival represents a particular culture and could help offspring know more about the history. Additionally, different destinations have different culture. Thus, many destinations host festivals to attract more tourists and promote the local economic development.
However, hosting a successful festival event is not an easy work. The event planner will face some challenges during the whole process. In fact, some festivals fail because of different reasons, such as the financial issue, bad weather, and poor content (Carlsen, Andersson, Ali-Knight, Jaeger, & Taylor, 2010; Getz, 2002). Festival management innovation is a useful tool that could help the organization avoid festival failure. It includes many aspects, which are festival product and service innovation, organizational innovation, market innovation, funding innovation, and festival participant innovation (Carlsen, Andersson, Ali-Knight, Jaeger, & Taylor, 2010). These innovations could improve the festival performance and help the festival achieve the final success. To avoid festival failure, the organizer should pay more attention to festival management innovation. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to use three examples to examine festival innovation and failure in the whole management process.
Gothenburg party, a city festival, is a non-profit event (Carlsen, Andersson, Ali-Knight, Jaeger, & Taylor, 2010). Its main purpose is to celebrate all citizens’ city life in Gothenburg. The major financial support of this festival is public money that comes from the municipality and public companies. In fact, the original Gothenburg was not successful because the party atmosphere led to alcohol-induced anti-social behavior and limited sponsorship. Also, it failed to achieve a major objective, which is achieving the social integration. To deal with these problems, a new festival was re-launched. The new festival made some innovations, which are changing the atmosphere from “party” to “cultural party” and reducing the reliance of government funding. It used cultural creativity to modify its original social state.
The second example is the Midnight Rock in Lakselv, Norway. The main goal of the music festival is to attract more tourists to visit this destination (Carlsen, Andersson, Ali-Knight, Jaeger, & Taylor, 2010). It is an outdoor event, and its failure reason includes bad weather and intense competitive environment. After re-launching, it still failed because of the bad weather. To deal with the major problem, the organizer has to make some innovation. Thus, the organizer promoted the festival product and service.
The third example is the Edinburgh Fringe festival. Due to the poor project management and critical implementation, it cannot be considered as a successful festival. In order to deal with these issues, it changed the staffing structure, the business model, and used a new box office system. These creativities help it improve the festival management performance.
This study used three examples to point out some major reasons that cause festival failure, such as bad weather, limited sponsorship source, poor management, and critical implementation. All these aspects are the challenge that will hinder the festival to achieve success. Festival failure will not only impact the organization interests, but also it will affect the economic development of local destination and local tourism and hospitality industry. Therefore, the festival