Indigenous festivals and community development: a socio-cultural analysis of an Australian indigenous festival
Whitford, M & Ruhanen, L 2013, 'Indigenous festivals and community development: a socio-cultural analysis of an Australian indigenous festival', Event Management, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 49-61.
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Festivals and events are widely recognized as having the potential to deliver sociocultural benefits for host communities and destinations. In countries such as Australia, Indigenous communities are looking towards festivals as vehicles to facilitate capacity building, self-determination, and reconciliation. Given this context, this article utilizes Brisbane's Annual Sports and Cultural festival as a case study to identify and critically examine the sociocultural benefits of festivals; and to identify and discuss those key critical factors which promote positive sociocultural benefits and sustainable community development through the staging of indigenous festivals. through a qualitative research approach, semistructured, in-depth interviews were undertaken with 18 Queensland local and State government actors and key stakeholders of the Annual Sports and Cultural festival. the findings revealed that the festival creates positive sociocultural benefits not only for festival participants and attendees but also for the wider indigenous community. Such benefits include the development of social capital, cultural preservation, and reconciliation, all of which are arguably significant factors in the facilitation of sustainable community development.