Event entrepreneurship – the growth of Feile an Phobail.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The word entrepreneur is widely used both in everyday conversation and as a technical term in management and economics. There are many definitions of entrepreneur found in the literature and it is difficult to provide a concise and unambiguous definition. According to Davidson (2003), it is generally accepted that entrepreneurs are agents of change and they provide innovative and creative ideas for enterprises to grow and make profit. They act to create and build a vision from virtually nothing, thus being enterprising. From an event management perspective an event entrepreneur can therefore be defined as someone (or group of people) who sets up a new event (Raj et al. 2013). To achieve this, and for the event to be a success, the event entrepreneur must identify a gap in the market and design an event that meets the needs of the target audience.
In this chapter, the authors will discuss how Féile an Phobail, a community festival set up in in West Belfast in 1988, has grown from a relatively humble parade of floats, bands and GAA sports clubs walking in their club regalia to now become the largest community arts festival on the Island of Ireland. What makes this case study even more interesting is the fact that this festival was set up during the ‘troubles’ in Northern Ireland and West Belfast was one of the worst affected areas. The aim of this chapter is to discuss the challenges the organisers of Féile an Phobail have overcome and the entrepreneurial skills that were required to develop this community festival. In order to gain an insight the authors conducted ten in-depth interviews with past and current members of the organising committee including one of the founding members.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTourism and hospitality research in Ireland - entrepreneurs driving tourism and hospitality
EditorsJames Hanrahan
Place of PublicationIT Sligo, Ireland
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2017


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