Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (MPRTM)


Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth D. Baldwin

Committee Member

Dr. H. Charles Chancellor

Committee Member

Dr. Bruce Whisler


Large outdoor music festivals have been a part of the American experience since the 1930s and are creative gatherings, economic engines, and vehicles of place attachment. This research draws on theoretical constructs of Creative Placemaking, the Biophilia Hypothesis, and Musicophilia to understand outcomes of outdoor Americana music festivals in the Southeastern United States from the perspective of the managers/organizers of these events. Interview data was collected from managers/organizers representing fifteen outdoor Americana music festivals in the Southeastern United States. The data was organized into nine thematic categories, and these were distilled into five key themes associated with the outcomes of these events. The five themes are 1) Using the celebration of regional traditions to cultivate community, 2) Influencing decisions through our connection to place and from our values of a sustainable environment, 3) Understanding the analysis of positive economic benefits of these events on the local economy, 4) Challenges faced in these outdoor music festivals are related to uncertain aspects of the festival; financial costs that fluctuate, variable weather conditions, and capacity concerns that vary depending on weather & artists popularity, and 5) Feelings of connectedness to place among a community of people that provides a shared familiarity among individuals. These and the nine thematic categories are explored and discussed with reference to participants interview comments. A figure is provided in order to illustrate why managers/organizers perspectives specifically were chosen, and to guide further research in this area, enabling future managers/organizers, attendees, as well as performers to take advantage of the potential of these events to impact positively on the myriad facets that these events touch.



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