Dr. Jane Ali-Knight is a Professor in Festival and Event Management.

Dr Jane Ali Knight at The Hub in Edinburgh, the location of the Edinburgh Festival HQ





The Business School




+44 (0) 131 455 4392


Jane is currently leading and developing the festival and event subject group as well as lecturing at Universities internationally and facilitating training and development in the field.  She is Course Director of the highly successful ‘Destination Leaders Programme’ delivered with Scottish Enterprise. Her core activities fall into three main areas: event and festival related programmes; research and publications and conferences and professional events. She is currently a board member of BAFA (British Arts and Festivals Association); Without Walls; Women in Tourism; Hidden Door Festival and is a Fellow of the HEA and Royal Society of the Arts.

A recognised academic she has presented at major international and national conferences and has published widely in a range of international academic journals in the areas of niche tourism, destination development and festival and event marketing and management. She is also on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Vacation Marketing, International Journal of Event and Festival Management and is a regular reviewer for Tourism Management. She has also co-edited seminal text books in the area of Festival and Event Management. Jane has extensive experience in designing and delivering undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses in tourism and festival and event management both in the UK and overseas. She is a Visiting Professor at Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Her recent event related experience extends to CakeFest Edinburgh 2015, a Year of Food and Drink Funded Project; Special Events Management and Publicity Co-ordination for the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (ADFF), 2007 - 2012, and extensive Professional and Academic Conference Organisation. 

Areas of expertise 

Festival and Event Management; Wine and Food Tourism; Accessibility for Festivals and Events; Destination Leadership and Development and Wellness Tourism.

Research projects 

Currently involved in the following research projects:

  • Leveraging the 2022 Qatar World Football Cup for the promotion of green and active living: A multiple stakeholder evaluation of strategic options. Qatar Foundation, QNRF Grant 2012
  • Wellness Tourism: Profiling the Yoga Tourist. September 2012
  • Aspirations and Progression of Event Management Students: A study of career destination upon graduation. December 2012
  • Developing a framework/guidelines for organisations to use ‘blogs’ as an effective communication channel for festivals and events in Scotland. March 2014.
  • Women in Tourism: Career Progression and Skills Development.  June 2015
  • Unlock & Revive: The ingredients needed to deliver accessible online cultural and heritage events that bring positive benefits to people living with dementia. July 2019 & 2020
  • Event hiatus, resilience and innovation in the time of COVID-19. July 2021 

Courses taught 

International Festival and Event Management; Event Management - Live Event module

PhD Supervisions

Lynn Waterston: An investigation of university and employer perceptions of barriers and enablers of work based learning (WBL) partnerships in the tourism sector in Scotland. DBA Complete

Caprice Oona Weissenrieder: Rising to the top: Exploring the role of political skill, career self-efficacy and perceived organisational support in the career success of women in Germany. PhD Complete

Martin Robertson: Sustainable festivals and events - an enquiry of leadership and futures. PhD Complete

David Jarman: Festivals in the Networked Society PhD Complete

Vinette Carmeta Rowe: The impact of advertising and promotion on the comsumer's behaviour and an organisations' profitability in the financial industry within the Caribbean Region. DBA Current

Martin Belk: Tuned in or dropped out? The short life, influence and curious death of the London Drury Lane Arts Lab, as evidenced by the Jim Haynes Living Archives. PhD Current

Career history 

August 2017 – Present

Professor in Festival and Event Management, The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

April 2002 – August 2017

Associate Professor in Festival and Event Management, The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland

June 1999 – Dec 2001

Lecturer, School of Marketing, Curtin University, Perth, Australia

Jan 1998 - June 1999

Associate Lecturer, School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure, Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia


PhD - The Role of Niche Tourism Products in Destination Development. Edinburgh Napier University

MSc Tourism Management with distinction. Manchester Metropolitan University

BA (Hons) English Literature/Modern History. The University of Liverpool

Professional memberships and honours 

  • Board Member/Trustee of the British Arts Festivals Association; Without Walls: Innovators in Outdoor Arts; Hidden Door Festival and Women in Tourism
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts
  • Founding Member of the Association of Event Management Educators
  • Member of The Tourism Society, UK. Committee member for the Tourism Society Scotland 2002 - 2007
  • Member of the Cross Party Group (CPG) for Tourism and the CPG for Culture, Scottish Parliament
  • Member of the Scottish Government Gulf States Steering Group

Key publications

Journal Articles (selected)

  • Stewart, H., Ali-Knight, J., Stephen, S., & Kerr, G. (2022). The ‘Senses Framework’: A relationship-centred approach to co-producing dementia events in order to allow people to live well after a dementia diagnosis. Event Management, 26(1), 157-175. 
  • Robertson, M., Ong, F., Lockstone-Binney, L., & Ali-Knight, J. (2018) Critical Event Studies: Issues and Perspectives. Event Management, 22(6),865-874.
  • Platt, L., & Ali-Knight, J. (2018) Guest editorial Journal of Place Management and Development 11(3),262-265.
  • Platt, L., & Ali-Knight, J. (2018) Special Issue: Grassroots Festivals and Place Making Journal of Place Management and Development. Vol. 11 Issue: 3, pp.262-265.
  • Ali-Knight, J. & Ensor, J. (2017). Salute to the Sun: an Exploration of UK Yoga Tourist Profiles. Tourism Recreation Research. 
  • Barron, P. & Ali-Knight, J. (2017). Aspirations and Progression of Event Management Graduates: A Study of Career Development. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management. 30, 29-38. 
  • Holmes, K., & Ali-Knight, J. (2017). The event and festival life cycle – developing a new model for a new context. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management; Vol. 29 No. 3, pages 98-1004.
  • Jarman, D., Theodoraki, E., Hall, H., Ali-Knight, J. (2014). Social network analysis and festival cities: an exploration of concepts, literature and methods. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 5(3), 311-322.
  • Weber, K. and Ali-Knight, J. (2012) Events and Festivals in Asia and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. International Journal of Event and Festival Management 3(1). pp. 4-8. 
  • Ensor, J., Robertson, M. and Ali-Knight, J. (2011) Eliciting the Dynamics of Leading a Sustainable Event: Key Informant Responses. Event Management, Vol. 15. pp. 315-327. 
  • Carlsen, J., Andersson, T.D., Ali-Knight, J., Jaeger, K. And Taylor, R. (2010) Festival Management Innovation and Failure. International Journal of Event and Festival Management 1(2). pp. 120-131. 
  • Stephenson, M.L., and Ali-Knight, J. (2010) Dubai's Tourism Industry and its Societal Impact: Social Implications and Sustainable Challenges Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, 8(4) pp. 278-292. 
  • Frew, E. and Ali-Knight. J. (2009). Independent Theatres and the Creation of a Fringe Atmosphere.International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 3(3). pp. 211-227 
  • Carlsen, J., Ali-Knight, J. & Robertson, M. (2007). Access - a research agenda for festival and events. Event Management - an international journal, 11(1). 
  • Ensor, J., Robertson, M. & Ali-Knight, J. (2007). The dynamics of successful events - the experts' perspective. Managing Leisure - an international journal, 12(3). 
  • Charters, S and Ali-Knight, J. (2002).Who is the Wine Tourist? Tourism Management, 23(3).


  • Ali-Knight, J, Robertson, M, Fyall, A & Ladkin, A. (2008). International Perspectives of Festivals and Events: Paradigms of Analysis. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. 
  • Ali-Knight, J. & Chambers, D. (2006). Case Studies in Festival and Event Marketing and Cultural Tourism. UK: LSA Publications. 
  • Yeoman, I, Robertson, M, Ali-Knight, J. et al. (2003) Festival and Event Management: An International Arts and Culture Perspective. Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann. 


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