Social/Economic Impact of Food Festivals (Keynote @EatCambridge Food Festival)

At the end of May, 2015 – Prof Sally Everett and I gave a keynote at the #EATCambridge Food and Drink Festival in Cambridge to talk about the social and economic benefits for local traders participating in the festival. This talk was to evolve into our 1st publication dedicate to the case of EATCambridge for Tourism Geographies entitled: “Leveraging Physical and Digital Liminoidal Spaces: the Case of #EATCambridge festival”.

Click for published version:

Mike, Sally.jpg
EAT Cambridge 2015 pic


This paper conceptualises the way physical and digital spaces associated with festivals are being harnessed to create new spaces of consumption. It focuses on the ways local food businesses leverage opportunities in the tourist-historic city of Cambridge. Data
from a survey of 28 food producers (in 2014) followed by 35 indepth interviews at the EAT Cambridge food festival (in 2015) are used to explain how local producers overcome the challenges of physical peripherality and why they use social media to help support them challenges restrictive political and economic structures. We present a new conceptual framework which suggests the development of place through food festivals in heritage cities can be understood by pulling together the concepts of ‘event leveraging’, ‘liminoid spaces’ (physical and digital) and modes of ‘creative resistance’ which helps the survival of small producers against inner city gentrification and economically enforced

EAT Cambridge 2015 - Sally and Mike

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