Festivals and special events are created to celebrate the special times, milestones and activities of communities, and yet even the best planned events can have negative social impacts on the communities that surround them.
While many events provide communities with a sense of place, a spirit and pride in their town, other events can disrupt residents and cause damage to a town’s reputation. As a result, festivals and events often need to be evaluated with these issues in mind.
Our social impact study in the Richmond Valley used a qualitative methodology of observation and interviews to unearth the positive impacts of the events in the region.. it was interesting to find 10 key themes emerged at each event…
Other studies have examined the negative social impacts of events on individual residents and the community as a whole. The Kyogle Social Impact Study for the 2009 World Rally Championship highlighted the ability for an event to cause divisions in the town, between those who are for and those that are against motorsport event development. These divisions are perhaps more noticeable in small communities such as Kyogle, than they are in bigger regional areas such as the Gold Coast. Could you then argue that the impact is greater, if it is felt more deeply…and has more lasting consequences in a town where there is more connectivity between community members.