1. The Hungarian Example


The Budapest Observatory realised a survey on Hungarian festivals. Information was collected in 2005 by face-to-face interviews with the organisers of 230 festivals held in the previous year, based on a questionnaire of 66 items. The findings were published in the book Fesztivál-világ (ISBN 9630606097). The summary in English is available here in pdf (502kb) format.

The project was supported by the National Cultural Fund (NKA).

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Purpose, description and rationale of the RESEARCH project

It is a strategic objective of the Committee of the National Cultural Fund (NCF) to promote research of various fields of culture. The Temporary Professional Board of Culture and Tourism thus found this a proper time to initiate research in its field of competence, on cultural festivals of touristic importance.

Apart from a need for orientation that arises from the variety and versatility of the field, the Board hopes that the survey offers answers to certain specific questions as well. The call for application for research followed the recognition that even the rich and diversified theoretical and practical experience of the National Cultural Fund is challenged by the emerging questions relating to the subsidization of festivals. How is it possible to select between the different needs of support? How can one check if the subsidy was rightly (or wrongly) awarded? And how can decision-makers be persuaded of the necessity of supporting festivals? The NCF was founded to promote cultural projects: to what extent can it undertake the sustenance of the consolidating festival industry? How to conciliate the interest of culture and tourism in a joint competition system?

The present report gives account on the research that the Budapest Cultural Observatory conducted after the invitational tender announced based on the above-mentioned premises. The report contains a review of the survey's results, some important conclusions and proposals. The results themselves - among others, data of the so-far biggest scale domestic festival survey - are to be found in the appendices of the Hungarian report.

The original intention of the survey was to provide a basis for the festival funding applications of 2005. By the time the research was assessed, it was certain that in 2005 the Culture and Tourism tender was cancelled. The exact opposite of our conclusion happened, and this conclusion was: the complex subsidizing system of cultural festivals, considering aspects of tourism as well, is at the same time beneficial for the national economy, regional development and the development of national culture as well.

The researchers were convinced that a consolidated subsidizing scheme of festivals conforms to the manifold strategic thinking expected for the National Development Plans from the member states of the European Union, and more specifically conforms to the Hungarian priorities of the period of 2007-2013. The report aims to assist the fulfillment of this objective as well.

The researchers assumed from the very beginning a straightforward professional dialogue, where the cooperation of the participants is insured, and is not limited to the acts of inviting and evaluating applications, but rather develops the method and the system through discussions at regular consultations, professional forums, workshops. Eventually, it would orientate everyone towards quality in the vague circle of events defined as festivals.