An Investigation into the Motivational Factors and Perceived Benefits of Attending Edinburgh’s Samhain Fire Festival
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The aim of the research is to identify the specific motivational factors and the perceived benefits of those attending the Samhain Fire Festival in Edinburgh. Furthermore, the research evaluates how prominent the specific attendance motivation factor of cultural exploration to attendees. The Samhain Fire Festival is a smaller scale festival in Edinburgh, hosted on October 31st. Samhain has roots in Scotland’s pre-Christian culture as a Pagan celebration. The literature review explains the concept of motivation and introduces the two key theoretical frameworks. Moreover, the importance of understanding motivations to event and festival managers is highlighted. Through reviewing the literature surrounding motivations and perceived benefits several gaps were presented. Firstly, there is a lack of motivations studies to smaller scale events. Secondly, there are few studies that concern themselves with both motivations and perceived benefits. Finally, there is a methodical gap in the research base. Therefore this study fills in these presented gaps. Reviewing the event motivation literature two types of motivations were found. These were generic motivations and context specific motivation. Perceived personal benefits of attending events and its relation to motivations was discussed as well as the importance to event and festival managers. Most studies concerned with motivations and perceived benefits opt for a quantitative approach to data collection. Due to this methodological gap in the literature a qualitative approach was adopted because of the ability to gain a deeper understanding of motivations and benefits in the context of the Samhain Fire Festival. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to achieve an in-depth discussion of why people choose to attend Edinburgh’s Samhain Fire Festival and the perceived benefits they gained by attending.