The Motivations, Experiences and Expectations of Visitors Attending the Tamworth Country Music Festival

Rosemary Adsett (2011). The Motivations, Experiences and Expectations of Visitors Attending the Tamworth Country Music Festival PhD Thesis, School of Tourism, The University of Queensland.

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Author Rosemary Adsett
Thesis Title The Motivations, Experiences and Expectations of Visitors Attending the Tamworth Country Music Festival
School, Centre or Institute School of Tourism
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-12
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Associate Professor Ian Patterson
Dr Shane Pegg
Total pages 263
Total colour pages 20
Total black and white pages 243
Language eng
Subjects 150606 Tourist Behaviour and Visitor Experience
Abstract/Summary The Tamworth Country Music Festival is considered to be the premier event of Australia’s country music calendar and has a 40-year history. The festival has inextricably linked Tamworth to country music and has changed the cultural identity of the city, which is now referred to by many as ‘Australia’s Country Music Capital’. Despite the importance of this event to the region, little academic research has been conducted in the past with regard to the motivations, experiences and expectations of visitors who attend the festival. Perhaps more importantly, no research has been undertaken to identify the role that country music plays for those who attend the festival, and what consequences the choice of the music presented at the event may have on the individuals who attend and their experience of the festival itself. In seeking to address this research gap, a two-phase study using a mixed-method research design was undertaken during the 10-day festival in January, over a two-year period in 2008 and 2009. In order to determine visitors’ motivations for attending the event and the types of experiences they sought, the first phase of the study used a quant/QUAL approach. A total of 1320 completed surveys were collected during the 2008 Tamworth Country Music Festival. These data were analysed using SPSS 15.0 for the quantitative questions and Microsoft Excel for the sorting and coding of the open-ended qualitative questions. The findings revealed that country music and the festival atmosphere were the principal motivators for many who attended the Tamworth Country Music Festival, although this phase of the study did not reveal why these festival attributes were so important to the study participants. The findings from Phase 1 of the study were then used as a basis to develop an interview schedule that was used in a series of in-depth qualitative interviews with 29 attendees at the 2009 festival. The qualitative data that resulted from this second phase of the study were analysed using the Leximancer 3.1 software program, which transformed the data from natural language into semantic patterns, which were listed and mapped to enable easy identification of the major themes from the interviews, as well as the relationships between them and the major concepts within the data. This information was then further analysed and interpreted by the researcher. The principal findings from the interview data were that a majority of visitors were motivated to attend the Tamworth Country Music Festival because of its focus on country music. The atmosphere, the social aspects and the Australian character of the festival were also important motivators for attendance; however, the study found that each of the different aspects of the festival was highly influenced by the country music genre. Furthermore, the study found that visitors to the festival attributed a broad range of associated meanings to country music, including those related to a particular way of life. The findings indicate that the Tamworth Country Music Festival experience is a complex phenomenon, as it is a process of constant co-occurrence between the visitor and the provisions offered by the organisers, as well as an important social and cultural exchange with the other visitors who attend the festival. The results of this study have provided a useful insight for planners, organisers and managers of the festival who, by channelling their resources into the areas that really matter to visitors, will be positioned better to maintain their current competitive advantage for future festivals.
Keyword country music
Additional Notes Colour pages:- 53,60,70,73,76,77,78,83,85,87,148,149,151,158,164,169,174,181,185,242. Printed in landscape - page 60

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Created: Wed, 23 May 2012, 17:28:45 EST by Rosemary Adsett on behalf of Library - Information Access Service