The influence of Lublin’s outdoor festivals on the city’s socio-economic development

75 million pln – this is how much money tourists coming to Lublin for Night of Culture, East of Culture – Different Sounds, Carnaval Szukmistrzów and the Jagiellonian Fair leave with local entrepreneurs.

Read the  report – Polish language only

A research team consisting of sociologists, economists and philosophers has run the project as part of a grant awarded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. They have researched four largest, cyclical outdoor festivals from Lublin: Night of Culture, East of Culture – Different Sounds, Carnaval Sztukmistrzów and the Jagiellonian Fair. The researchers aimed at determining how the aforementioned events influence the socio-economic development of the city. They explored whether organizing large events like these pays off for the city, its residents and businesses. In 2017 we could meet the pollsters at each festival; moreover, the researchers examined the strategies and promotional policies of the city, discussed them with local entrepreneurs and conducted an internet survey for the volunteers who help at festivals.

On 1 February 2018, the members of the research team presented the results of the research in front of a larger audience. The report called “Wpływ lubelskich festiwali plenerowych na rozwój gospodarczy i społeczny miasta” (The influence of Lublin’s outdoor festivals on the city’s socio-economic development” ) has drawn up a number of concrete instances and benefits in which festivals help the city.

75 million pln is the total sum of expenses of participants coming to the festival from outside Lublin. The money is spent predominantly on food at restaurants, pubs and sales points.

These figures are confirmed by the entrepreneurs in the Old Town. Ninety percent of people surveyed admit that festivals increase the revenue at their companies, even up to 63% in comparison to non-festival days.

It’s also worth mentioning that nearly all attendees coming from outside Lublin declare that they want to return here. This shows the importance of cultural and artistic events for the development of tourism in our city.

Festivals aren’t just for outsiders but they are also an opportunity for Lubliners to celebrate. The research shows that the residents have a very positive attitude towards the festivals – they appreciate their potential to attract outsiders and the possibility to experience something interesting and unique. The festivals are an opportunity to meet up with old friends, boast in front of guests from other cities but also develop passions and discover new interests.

The festivals also change the perception of the public space. They not only “ pull people out of their homes” but also allow to discover less trodden places and, finally, they also show the city in an unusual, often very attractive way.

Interesting conclusions can also be reached from surveys conducted among volunteers who worked at festivals in the years 2011-2016. More than half of them declares that skills gained during the volunteer work are useful in their careers. Volunteers believe that they acquire competences desired in the workplace, such as communicativeness, team work or management of one’s own work performance.

71% of volunteers working at the researched festivals believe that volunteer work has made it possible for them to gain valuable experience related to the organization of events. According to the survey, every one in five have claimed that contacts established during this experience have helped them find employment.

Thanks to the research, we have also got better acquainted with our visitors. The results show that the dominant addressees of our four major festivals are most of all the Y generation (20-36 years old) and Gen X ( 37-52 years old). The festival attendees have completed tertiary education and judge their financial situation to be good or very good. We could say then that festival attendees are most of all well-to-do young and middle-aged people who have completed tertiary education.

More importantly, the research has shown that the attendees positively evaluate the festivals. Nearly all participants declare that they will take part again and that they will recommend it to friends. A large part of the festival public attend the events every year and their source of information is…that they know the festivals very well and remember about them.

The report has resulted in a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge about the four festivals. The report has been evaluated by scientists and researchers specialising in the researched area of expertise.

“I perceive the information drawn up in the report to be a significant contribution to the decision-making processes of festival coordinators who shape their form and offer as well as the city authorities responsible for creating long-term strategies of Lublin’s development and plans fostering the development of culture on an operational level. (…) The report is a very valuable publication of high epistemic merit containing highly valuable suggestions that ought to be applied” – this is how dr hab. Magdalena Sobocińka of the Economic University of Wrocław evaluates the report. A similar opinion has been voiced by dr hab. Waldemar Cudny of the University of Łódź. The professor believes that “research conducted by the authors is a valuable and pioneering work for Poland (…) The analysis provides very solid information for various institutions and provides foundation for further research”.

Comments on the research have also been provided by experts: Edwin Bendyk (“Polityka” weekly), prof. Tomasz Szlendak (Institute of Sociology, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń), prof. Maghdalena Sobocińska (Institute of Marketing, Wrocław University of Economics)l prof. Krystyna Mazurek – Łopacińska (Instiutute of Marketing, Wrocałw University of Economics), Agata Etmanowicz (Fundacja Impact), Tamara Kamińska (Katowice – City of Gardens Cultural Institution), prof. Jan Pomorski (Humanities Research and Implementation Centre, Maria Curie-Skłodowska University) and Kamila Kujawska – Krakowiak (Fundacja Commitment to Europe art & business, the co-author of “Sponsoring of culture and art in practice). Their presentations related to many contexts and topics touched on in the research and can be found in the report.

The report is available here – Polish language only.

Workshops of Culture in Lublin, the organizers of the researched festivals, would like to invite you for the events in 2018. Save the dates of each festival: Night of Culture (2/3 June), East of Culture – Different Sounds (28 June – 1 July), Carnaval Sztukmistrzów (26-29 July), the Jagiellonian Fair (17-19 August). All festivals are free.