A study of spectator emotions at the tour de france

Graham Berridge, Daryl May, Eliza Kitchen, Gavin Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article contributes to the canon of literature on spectator emotions by examining spectator emotions at a major hallmark event. Spectator experience emotions were surveyed via an online questionnaire resulting in 188 valid responses. This resulted in three groups of spectators being surveyed: 1) those who watched live from the roadside, 2) those watching via a spectator viewing hub, and 3) those watching on television. Variables tested were via PANAS scale emotions. They included the positive emotions of interested, excited, strong, enthusiastic, proud, alert, inspired, determined, attentive, and active. The negative emotions were distressed, upset, hostile, irritable, scared, nervous, afraid, guilty, ashamed, and jittery. There are also nine categories within the model, which are (1) attentive, (2) excited, (3) proud, (4) strong, (5) distressed, (6) angry, (7) fearful, (8) guilty, and (9) nervous. The highest positive value feelings of "interested, excited, and enthusiastic" occurred during the live action by those watching on the roadside. Negative feelings were more variable but a highest rating for "afraid" increased during the event, suggesting feelings of not wanting to miss anything (action). Further exploration of the emotions experienced before, during, and after an event is required in order to more fully understand the complexity of the factors. For those planning and staging cycling and similar multistage or multisite events the mapping (route) and layout of the active spectator and participant arena can be carefully constructed to provide potential emotional hot spots. Emotions vary across time and this appears to be related to mode and location of spectating. It implies that event organizers can utilize different "experiential components" within an event setting to create conditions that would be conducive to an optimal viewing environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)753-771
Number of pages19
JournalEvent Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Affective experiences
  • Optimal viewing environment
  • Spectator emotions
  • Sports events impacts
  • Tour de France


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