Evaluating events data for cultural analytics: A case study on the economic and social effects of Covid-19 on the Edinburgh Festivals

Suzanne R. Black, Rosa Filgueira, Lesley McAra, Brendan Miles, Mark Parsons, Melissa Terras

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Creative and Cultural Industries can be difficult to quantify. Metadata about events (theatre productions, music and comedy gigs, sporting fixtures, days out and more) are an untapped resource for cultural analytics that can be used as a proxy metric for financial and social impact. This article uses a sample of large-scale cultural events data from UK industry providers Data Thistle to ask: how can events data at scale be used to quantify the financial and social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the cultural events sector in a particular region? We analysed the changes in event provision in Edinburgh in August 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, revealing an estimated 97.3% fall in ticketing revenue between 2019 and 2020. Additionally, the differing effects that pandemic restrictions had on different categories of event reveal a disparity in how different audience sectors were affected, with ‘Visual Art’ and ‘Days Out’ showing most resilience and ‘Theatre’, ‘Comedy’ and ‘LGBT’ events being most reduced. Our findings indicate that events data are a rich but heterogenous source of information regarding the cultural and creative economy, which is not yet routinely used by researchers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalCreative Industries Journal
Early online date7 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Feb 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cultural value
  • data science
  • creative industries
  • cultural analytics
  • events data
  • LGBTQIA+

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