A case study of the Tiree Music Festival: How do the social impacts of the festival shape the Tiree residents’ perceptions?
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Purpose: This research project looked at the social impacts of the Tiree Music Festival and how they affected the residents’ perceptions. Methods: A qualitative and inductive approach was used during the research process. Using semi-structured interviews allowed the data gathered to be rich and detailed, but as concise as possible. Some unprecedented topics arose during these interviews and were included in subsequent interviews to gain additional opinions from the views of residents. Thematic analysis was used when analysing the data gathered, and ethical considerations were identified before data collection took place. Findings: The negative social impacts such as the overuse of public spaces, the effects of security and the issues of the island’s culture of drink-driving were found to have mixed opinions. The positive impacts revealed were aspects such as impacts to businesses, community inclusion, festival image, and resident opportunities and satisfaction. Noise and litter were negative social impacts that were found not to have an impact on resident perception, and cultural exchange was the only positive social impact to present a range of mixed opinions. Overall, the residents demonstrated mostly positive perspectives of the festival and that they enjoyed being involved. Originality: These findings may be helpful to future students looking to research the Tiree Music Festival, or other Hebridean events. Additionally, this research has brought important findings to light regarding problems around small festivals and island communities in general, that may need to be addressed for future sustainability. Limitations and Recommendations: Due to time and location restrictions, the interviews were carried out over telephone. However, if these had been conducted face-to-face, more natural and precise data may have been collected. Additionally, the cohort of people available to interview was restricted to people whose contact details were public, therefore most residents who participated in the research were business owners. One main recommendation was that organisers could work with residents and local services to address issues such as drink-driving, security and the lack of cultural exchange. Moreover, gaining residents’ perceptions will ensure that the festival can grow with support from the locals.