Eventful cities as global innovation catalysts: The Sónar Festival network

GW Richards, A Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
236 Downloads (Pure)


As the economy becomes more globalized, a growing number of events are exerting an influence on activity and innovation globally in different fields. Therefore, we argue that "eventful cities" can act as important catalysts for eventfulness in other places as well. This article analyzes the case of the Sónar electronic music festival, an event that originated in Barcelona, Spain, but which now runs different editions in many cities worldwide. This empirical study of the innovation capacity of a cultural event examines how a locally based music festival has transformed itself by using the global "space of flows" to influence the local "space of places." The Sónar Festival has turned itself into a relational hub in a global cultural network, using stylistic innovations to link geographically dispersed nodes in order to create new products, open up new markets, and strengthen its own position as a global source of eventfulness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-634
Number of pages14
JournalEvent Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Eventful cities
  • Festivals
  • Innovation
  • Space of flows
  • Space of places


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