Whose festival is it anyway? Analysis of festival stakeholder power, legitimacy, urgency, and the sustainability of local festivals

Raymond Adongo, Seongseop (Sam) Kim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The sustenance and institutionalization of local festivals hinge on the extent to which various stakeholders work together effectively. While all stakeholder relationships matter in this respect, research has often failed to focus on the various relationships between all stakeholders involved. This study uses the tenets of stakeholder theory (power, urgency, and legitimacy) to examine the differences between stakeholders in local festivals. It is based on a questionnaire survey of 1,092 festival stakeholders from eight groups in six local festivals in Ghana. The results indicate that festival organizers have the highest level of power, urgency, and legitimacy. The results also reveal varying levels of power, urgency, and legitimacy between government authorities, sponsors, vendors, volunteers, visitors, and the media. Given these differences, festival committees need to give the right priority each stakeholder group and properly respond to each based on their relationship with other stakeholders. Groups such as vendors with low legitimacy need to be actively included in planning committees and decision-making regarding the festivals. The involvement of the regional tourism offices, which is lacking, will help in providing training to festival organizers and other stakeholders in order to institutionalize the festivals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1863-1889
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2018


  • festival
  • legitimacy
  • power
  • stakeholder
  • Sustainability
  • urgency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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