This research was conducted by Bruno Bracalentee, and five others at Perugia University, Italy


This paper examines the economic impact of a cultural event: the Umbria Jazz music festival. This study confronts the methodological challenges involved in estimating the number of visitors attracted by an event by using an impact analysis model which assesses the economic effects of cultural or entertainment events on local or regional economic systems. Interviews, with one in every five spectators attending the show, were completed during 2007 and revealed that the Umbria Jazz festival was good for the local economy and encouraged the use of specialist services for the production of such events.

The Umbria Jazz festival generates an overall impact of 2m Euros

The Umbria Jazz festival’s impact on the local economy amounted to almost two million Euros (Gross Value Added). Whilst this is a huge impact, it would not have come about without the financial support of public and private institutions with social aims. As such, the results encourage governments to continue supporting cultural events, because not even the most established and successful events are capable of complete self-financing.

Measuring the economic impact of festivals is difficult

Generally, the economic impact of festivals has been measured by using visitors’ expenditure only, which is then used to analyse their impact on the local economy. However, the numerous free concerts in Umbria’s squares, for which attendance and expenditure costs are difficult to analyse over a longer period of time (the recurrent nature of the events adds an extra complication). As such, the holistic approach adopted by this paper allows policymakers to take a more efficient approach to public spending and challenges the assessment systems currently utilised by cultural economists.

This summary is by Shelly-Ann Gajadhar, King’s Knowledge Exchange Associate

Title The Economic Impact of Cultural Events: The Umbria Jazz Music Festival
Author(s) Bracalente, B., Chirieleison, C., Cossignani, M., Ferrucci, L., Gigliotti, M. & Ranalli, M,G.
Publication date 2011
Source Tourism Economics, Vol. 17, Iss. 6, pp 1235-1255