Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Backman, Sheila J

Committee Member

Backman, Kenneth F

Committee Member

Powell, Robert B

Committee Member

Moore, DeWayne


Festivals and events provide a venue for individuals to relax, to spend time with their family, to escape from the daily demands of modern life, to enjoy themselves and to socialize as a way to enhance their quality of life. In addition, many leaders have used festival and events for the economic development of their communities (Getz & Frisby, 1988). However, according to Petrick and Li (2006), this research has been limited to topics associated with marketing, management and economic impact. For example, Finkel, McGillivaray, McPherson, & Robinson (2013) pointed out that scholars have investigated the relationships between festival and events suppliers and community development, governance, technology, and sustainability. From the demand perspective, research attention continues to be primarily focused on understanding why people attend festival and events. Although much is understood about these reasons, more research is needed to provide a fuller understanding of this phenomena (Getz, 1991). Despite the consistent results suggesting that the majority of people attend festival and events as a member of a group, how these individuals evaluate festival satisfaction (festivalscape as comfort, fun, and product) and determine their intention to re-visit has received limited attention. Psychologists such as Campion, Medsker, & Higgs (1993), Krull & MacKinnon (2001), Malcarne (2012), and Zohar (2000) have demonstrated that group member evaluations differ when examined at the individual and group levels, specifically for satisfaction and outcomes, results supported by research in work group support systems (Shaw, 1988), sports team success (Carron, Bray, & Eys, 2002), and military performance (Ahronson & Cameron, 2007). The recognition of these differences has led psychologists and management researchers to conclude that group level investigations are necessary to enhance the understanding of the differences between group and individual evaluations. This study addresses this need using Mullen and Copper’s (1994) model of Cohesiveness and Performance to guide its conceptual framework for examining individual and group level data to determine if significant differences exist with respect to the evaluation of festival satisfaction (festivalscape) and revisit intentions. Using a two-step stage procedure to select respondents from the Spring Skunk Music Festival in 2015 and Rock Hill ChristmasVille Festival in 2014, a total of 335 festival attendees completed the self-administered survey questionnaire developed for this study. The results of the Multi Level Analysis revealed that festival attendees’ evaluation of satisfaction (festivalscape) and intention to revisit were significantly different when examined at the individual and group levels. Moreover, the analysis showed that the results were affected by the moderating variable group type but not by group size. Two mediating factors, group environment and group development, were found not to significantly impact attendees’ evaluations of satisfaction (festivalscape) nor their intention to re-visit the festival. However, additional results from the Multi Level Analysis showed that group environment and group development were highly correlated with group cohesiveness, a finding suggesting that the attendees viewed them as two components of cohesiveness. A revised conceptual framework reflecting this finding was developed. This study revealed the importance of treating individuals as part of groups when investigating how festival and events attendees evaluate festival satisfaction (festivalscape) and the intention to re-visit. The results that group environment and group development were seen as dimensions of group cohesiveness may reflect the environment of this research, which was conducted as a field study during leisure time. In contrast, the majority of similar studies in psychology and management were conducted in a laboratory or during work hours. The findings from this study suggest that festival and event planners should create programs that involve attendees as group members to improve the level of festival satisfaction (festivalscape) as well as increase the likelihood of return. In addition, more generally, this research provides theoretical support for the Group Cohesiveness and Performance Theory developed by Mullen and Copper (1994) in the domain of festival and events.



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