Social Impact

Festivals and special events are created to celebrate the special times, milestones and activities of communities. These community events provide communities with a sense of place, a spirit and pride in the ability of their town. As a result, community events often need to be evaluated with these issues in mind, to determine how and why events are important to host communities.

In our recent study in the Richmond Valley in NSW, we have used a qualitative methodology of observation and interviews to unearth the contribution of the many events in the region to the local community. In our observations of three events in the region, 10 key themes emerged at each event…

social list3 gif

Our studies have shown that events can have negative social consequences which require sensitive qualitative research to explore how and why events affect communities. It is important to discover what these impacts are, and how they affect the whole community. The Kyogle Social Impact Study for the 2009 World Rally Championships highlighted the ability for an event to cause divisions in the town, between those who are for and those that are against. 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.

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