The impact of young people’s participation in events: developing a model of social event impact

Eliza Kitchen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose– This paper aims to explore the social impact that two events, the Adelaide Fringe Festival and the Clipsal 500, have on young residents (16-19 years old) of Adelaide. The purpose of this paper is to examine how young people participate in these events and how this affects their sense of involvement in the event and contributes to their identity development.

Design/methodology/approach– A mixed methods approach was adopted in which focus groups and questionnaires were conducted with secondary school students. As an exploratory study, focus groups (n=24) were conducted in the first stage of the research. The results of the focus groups were used to develop a questionnaire that resulted in 226 useable responses. The final stage of the research explored one event in further depth in order to determine the influence of different participation levels.

Findings– This study found that young people demonstrated more involvement in the Adelaide Fringe Festival and their identities were more influenced by this event. Further investigation of the Adelaide Fringe Festival also indicated that level of participation affects the social outcomes gained, with those participating to a greater degree achieving higher involvement and increased identity awareness. This is demonstrated through a model which aims to illustrate how an event impact an individual based on their role during the event.

Originality/value– This paper applies two leisure concepts in order to analyse the impact of events. Activity involvement is a concept which examines the importance of the activity in the participant’s life. Also of importance to young people is how activities contribute to their identities, especially because they are in a transitional period of their lives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-218
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Event and Festival Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2014


  • Fringe Festival
  • Leisure activities
  • Participation
  • Social impact
  • Young people


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of young people’s participation in events: developing a model of social event impact'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this