How much value does the annual music festival "The most beautiful festival in Denmark" (Danmarks smukkeste festival) represent for our town? The municipality of Skanderborg asked Ramboll to answer this question. The result was clear – 350 million DKK to be exact. Apart from an additional turn-over of 41 million a year and the equivalent of 72 full time jobs, it contributes to an almost priceless branding of the city of Skanderborg, Denmark.
The growth in the experience economy has given rise to integrate symbolic and cultural economy with the material economy. Municipalities and regions have discovered that cultural activities have an effect on the citizens but also on visitors. In the municipality of Skanderborg the music festival "The most beautiful festival in Denmark" is without a doubt the major attraction of the municipality. As a major cultural attraction, the festival comprises a cultural capital value which gives citizens and visitors a unique experience of the city.
Documented social and cultural effects
Apart from the branding effect and direct economic value of the festival, the analysis documents following social and cultural effects:
- The festival creates the experience of a unified identity in the municipality
- The festival provides economic support to the local musical life. This cultural boost supplements the municipal support to cultural activities
- Most of the citizens and business owners associate the festival with something posi-tive
- Most young people describe the municipality as a "Rock Guitar" city
- The local clubs participating in volunteer work at the festival experience the festival as positive. For some clubs, the income from the festival is essential for them to sur-vive
- The festival has a positive effect in relations to local business terms of conditions. This effect is largest concerning the localisation of companies and the companies' direct contact with costumers and contacts
To estimate and analyse the effects of the music festival, a lot of different methods were applied. To set the stage we conduct a preliminary desk research on the basis of internal documents and information from the festival and from external partners. Furthermore, stakeholders and experts were interviewed and three surveys among Danes, citizens in the municipality of Skanderborg and local business owners were carried out.