Integrating theory and practice in business planning for non-profit arts organizations and festivals: a three-year plan with a critical analysis.
Allam, R. (2016) Integrating theory and practice in business planning for non-profit arts organizations and festivals: a three-year plan with a critical analysis., no. 19.
Introduction (part): In 2015, Just Festival celebrated 15 years of successful delivery of one of Edinburgh's most unique and diverse festivals featuring hundreds of events and performances in St. John's Church and engaging with thousands of audiences every August. The festival engages with broadly encompassing topical themes of social justice, equality, human rights, and cultural diversity, including prejudice against race, ethnicity, class and economic status. Previous editions have all provided a platform for local, national and international participants to share their talent, ideas, opinions and visions by engaging in music, dance, and theatre performances, conversation and talk discussions, exhibitions, film, family activities, and workshops. Every festival edition, performers are given the option of registering as part of Edinburgh Fringe programme besides being part of Just Festival since St. John's is a fringe registered venue. Just Festival is proud to have hosted for the past editions several socially conscious events that had strong positive impressions on audiences and created lively interactive debates. Although the 15th edition of the festival has successfully led to a high number of new connections made as a result of cooperating with diverse community organizations and performers from various backgrounds, average paid attendance per event for that edition in particular was lower than expected due to expanding the programme offer into over 300 events which led to an overwhelming quantity for audiences to choose from, the inclusion of some events that were loosely connected to Just Festival's mission, and adding a second main venue besides St. John's for the first time that was not familiar to audiences as a fringe venue. Survey feedback gained from audiences and a thorough analysis of that edition's performance revealed those mentioned challenges, and that also depending on a different external temporary PR and Media consultant every season to handle the marketing for the festival is not ideal in such a competitive festivals month.