• Against all odds: Embedding new knowledge for event continuity and community well-being.

      Azara, Iride; Wiltshier, Peter; Greatorex, Jamie; University of Derby (Cognizant Communication Corporation, 2018-02-01)
      Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football (ARSF) is a sporting event that occurs yearly on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in the market town of Ashbourne, in Derbyshire. Sometimes referred to as "mob football," Shrovetide can arguably be perceived as the quintessential sensorial and fully immersive event, being played out across town and involving the entire community. The event is also a unique tourism spectacle and a tool for tourism destination positioning. This article presents some of the results of a larger study that looks at challenges in the matter of events safety and the impacts that this has on event survival and the sustainable development of local communities. Findings highlight the need to support communities to learn from events in order to preserve them as they are essential for the maintenance of a unique and inimitable community identity.
    • Conserving Italian World Heritage Sites through live music events: Exploring barriers and opportunities

      Azara, Iride; Melpignano, Claudia; University of Derby (Cognizant Communication, 2019-09-18)
      Consumers’ demands for innovative forms of heritage consumption combined with a desire for long lasting memories have highlighted the role that staged events and other live music performances at cultural and historical sites can play in the conservation of these assets. However, to date, research on these aspects remains fragmented and indeed lacking within the Italian landscape. Building on these considerations, this paper explores the tensions inherent the re-use and conservation of Italian cultural and historical assets through live events. The research uses three WHS sites distributed across the Italian territory as case studies to identify the positions of different stakeholders involved in the production of live music performances. A qualitative, comparative, case study design has been deemed as the most fitting to enable an in-depth investigation of the stances held by public and private sector organisations involved in the staging of events at WHS and to enable a rich analysis of the issues. Findings show significant ideological and cultural barriers impacting the use of staged live events at such venues. Besides suggesting a cross-sectorial cooperative approach to help rejuvenate these WH sites and to generate funding for conservation purposes findings suggest the need to develop a sustainable strategy for managing national heritage assets incorporating clear guidelines on the re-use of WH sites.
    • Mobilising the dome

      Azara, Iride; Wakefield, Lisa; University of Derby (2016-09)
      More and more public and private tourism organisations are putting an emphasis on the creation of ‘memorable tourist experiences’ (Bærenholdt and Michael Haldrup, 2004; O’Dell, 2007 and Ennen and Van Maanen, 2013). It is now commonly accepted that technology plays a vital role in communication and interpretation and altogether in achieving this outcome, supporting tourism growth and instigating innovative responses to competition for tourist attraction (Neuhofer, Buhalis and Ladkin, 2012). This paper discusses how technology can be used to mobilise and reconceptualise a contested heritage space, focusing on an ongoing research project aimed at developing audio tours at the Devonshire Dome: a Grade II* listed building and iconic tourism landmark that dominates the Buxton 44 townscape (Sheller and Urry, 2006 and Haldrup and Larsen, 2006). Aimed at first-time visitor to Buxton, the exploration of the Dome encourages visitors to use the building under the terms and conditions of the Heritage Lottery Funds received in 2000. The terms of the HLF grant were that the building be made available to visitors and the community in perpetuity. The audio tours takes the visitors on a journey through time showcasing the building from a grand stable block; to a well-respected ‘hydropathic’ hospital before being given a new lease of life as a University campus. Preliminary findings, collected through a series of qualitative research interventions with visitors to the Dome and University stakeholders highlight the potential technology has to enable three competing heritage narratives of place to coexist simultaneously thus developing and reconfiguring people’s relationship with the place and the range of stakeholders involved in the delivery of the tourism product. The research contributes to the existing body of knowledge that aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of how technology can be used at heritage sites as both a key driver of change in helping to create and develop memorable experiences, redrafting visitor’s relationship with space and maximising effectiveness.