Research Output

The forward facing flaneur: a fresh look at information seeking for the beer festival attendee

  Dӧrk, Carpendale and Williamson (2011) review the Flaneur (Baudelaire, 1863) in contemporary settings, positing the information flanuer as representing a new way of thinking about information seeking. We adapt and extend this and consider the future scope of the flaneur – embedded but not entombed as the leisurely and vigilant urban stroller (Wrigley, 2014), suggesting how the flaneur has evolved in correspondence with new environments becoming a more critical device than its origin as a cultural spectator. Technology is a particular, but not a sole, factor contributing to contemporary environments where the enshrining of turbulence and potential for transformation is simultaneously creating wariness and uncertainty. This produces forward facing reflections, i.e. visions, as the spirit of Baudelaire’s loafer becomes something that is more symbiotic and cognisant of the dangers around him/her in our socio-economic turbulent time (Devine & Devine, 2012; Getz, Andersson, & Larson, 2006; Larson, Getz, & Pastras, 2015; Van Niekerk & Pizam, 2015).
Chalcraft and Magaudda (2013) explain how festivals offer occasion for values, cultures, aesthetics and politics to come together. They opine that these festival-related interactions can impact positively outside of the festival as transformation. The beer festival in its many guises as a leisure phenomenon is, as other festivals, both significant and signifier in the unsettled state society currently sits (Robertson, Hutton & Brown, 2018). In this paper we give projections of the transformative capacity of beer festivals. First, we review global and national drivers of change, and discuss signposts and signals that may determine what the Beer Festival looks like in the future. Second, based on the identification of drivers, signposts and signals we critically evaluate the transformative capacities that beer festivals may have.
This exploratory work is the basis of a large study in which two communities, in England and in Scotland, envision their own futures through the prism of existing beer festivals. The research adds to a body of knowledge that has grown with the Flaneur, the social significance of festival activity, and the attributes of visioning futures to aid resilience in volatile social-economic times.
The application of a future scoping process, identifying drivers, signposts and signals are forwarded are valuable tools in this process.

Baudelaire, C. (1863) The painter of modern life. Trans. Jonathon Mayne (1964) London: Phaidon.
Chalcraft, J., & Magaudda, P. (2013). ‘Space is the Place’: The Global Localities of the Sònar and WOMAD Music Festivals. In G. Delanty, L. Giorgi, & M. Sassatelli (Eds.), Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere (pp. 173-189). New York: Routledge.
Dörk, M., Carpendale, S., & Williamson, C. (2011). The information flaneur: A fresh look at information seeking. CHI Conference ‘Human factors in computing systems’ (May 7-12, 2011), Vancouver, Canada. (ACM 978-1-4503-0267-8/11/05)
Devine, A., & Devine, F. (2012). The challenge and opportunities for an event organiser during an economic recession. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 3(2), 122-136.
Getz, D., Andersson, T., & Larson, M. (2006). Festival stakeholder roles: Concepts and case studies. Event Management, 10(2-3), 103-122.
Larson, M., Getz, D., & Pastras, P. (2015). The legitimacy of festivals and their stakeholders: concepts and propositions. Event Management, 19(2), 159-174.
Robertson, M., Hutton, A., & Brown, S. (2018). Event Design in Outdoor Music Festival Audience Behavior (A Critical Transformative Research Note). Event Management, 22(6), 1073-1081.
Van Niekerk, M., & Pizam, A. (2015). How do terrorism and tourism co-exist in turbulent times? Introduction to a conflicing relationship. In K. Glaser (Ed.), Terrorism and the Economy : Impacts on the Capital Market and the Global Tourism Industry (pp. 109-125). The Hague: Eleven International Publishing.
Wrigley, R (2014). Introduction in The Flaneur abroad: historical and international perspectives, (R Wrigley, Ed), Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    09 July 2019

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Robertson, M., & Adams, A. (2019, July). The forward facing flaneur: a fresh look at information seeking for the beer festival attendee. Paper presented at Leisure Studies Association (LSA) 2019, Abertay University, Dundee



flaneur, community, beer festivals, visioning futures, resilience

Monthly Views:

Available Documents