Participatory cultural events and place attachment: A new path towards place branding?

Zafeirenia Brokalaki, Roberta Comunian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter examines whether place marketing, which has been traditionally associated with managerial processes, top-to-down cultural approaches and copy-cut models, allows for the consideration of non-institutional, grassroots, audience-led cultural initiatives for place branding. Looking closely at participatory art festivals that actively engage local audiences and visitors in the production, promotion and consumption of cultural experiences, the research investigates the processes through which audience involvement in arts-based events create human-place bonds. Through the conceptual lens of place attachment, we examine the relationship between participatory cultural events and place marketing, discussing the greater impact of artistic audience participation on the image and the attractiveness of the place in which these events are embedded. To examine the role that participatory art events may play in place branding, attention is focused on a troubled context – Athens during the crisis years. In the last decade, Athens has evidenced the emergence of many small self-managed arts festivals, which enable people to participate in a range of artistic projects, creative programmes, and self-expressive events. The present work wishes to examine what happens when participatory forms of artistic events are brought into our everyday urban spaces in an organic way. What happens when citizens occupy public spaces and transform them into cultural arenas where locals and visitors can co-create and co-consume the cultural content, experiences, and events on site?.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Events, Place Branding and Promotion
Subtitle of host publicationPlace Event Marketing
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780429756221
ISBN (Print)9781138354395
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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