CultureHive > Guide/Toolkit > Towards an organisational development model for festivals
4th October 2013 Sara Lock

Towards an organisational development model for festivals

Why do some festivals thrive, while others fail? Knowing what is likely to go wrong is a good first step to avoiding problems and creating a sustainable organisation. This study looks at a lifecycle model of organisational development and applies it to Buxton Festival, to see if the forecasts used in the commercial sector can also be applied to the arts.

Festivals are a ubiquitous feature of contemporary Western society yet their production processes remain largely unexplored. Why do some festivals thrive whilst others limp along, and yet more run for a year or so then disappear?

This paper applies a model of organisational development more widely used in the corporate world to a cultural organisation, Buxton Festival, that has been producing festivals since 1979. If the model can be seen to work for not-for-profit cultural festivals, it could help leaders and funders to identify and avoid the crises that prevent them from becoming sustainable, successful events for their communities.

| Published:2013

Smart tags: sustainability strategy organisational development festivals business planning