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Cultural Enquiries

Beyond Performance: The Art of Major Events

Beyond Performance: A Cultural Enquiry into major events and culture

King’s first Cultural Enquiry explores how the expertise developed over seven years of planning and delivering the 2012 Cultural Olympiad could most effectively be harnessed and made available as a resource for the nation. 

The Enquiry found evidence that arts and culture can and do add value to major events, including economic impact as well as benefits stretching across health and well-being, social inclusion, skills, employment and human capital. It called  for the creation of a consortium body to lead, direct and deliver the legacy from London 2012, and help to embed arts and culture in future major events, both in the UK and internationally.

"Beyond Performance", the initial report of the Enquiry, was published in November 2013. A copy of the report, together with a more detailed companion report, is available to download from the right-hand menu.

The Art of Major Events conference

Since "Beyond Performance" was published, the Enquiry team has continued to explore how to best harness and gather the knowledge and expertise in hosting major events, and the added value that culture brings.

In January 2015 Culture at King’s organised a one-day conference, The Art of Major Events, which brought together major event organisers and host cities, cultural organisations, government representatives, sponsors and funders to explore key themes. 

In conjunction with The Art of Major Events conference, Culture at King’s published three case studies to highlight some of the themes discussed during the day. The case studies explore Hull UK City of Culture; Glasgow Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme; and the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. 

The case studies reports (headline and full versions) are available to download from the right-hand menu.

This work continues through the international Major Events Consortium, established by King's as the first port of call for guidance, researching, and networking opportunities for those involved in culture and major events.

Survey on Major Events Engagement

As part of this Cultural Enquiry King’s has commissioned a tracking survey, exploring public attitudes to major events, and to incorporating arts and culture. 

The latest survey results were published in January 2015. They show that there is a high level of support amongst the UK general public for hosting international events such as the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Rugby World Cup, and the popularity of including cultural activities within major sporting events. 

The survey, run by Nielsen and which has sought the views of over 8000 people over two years, shows that 73% think that towns and cities in the UK should continue to bid to stage major sporting and cultural events, and two thirds think it is the right thing for local authorities to pursue. 54% believe that major sporting events are enhanced when culture is included in the programme. 

A full copy of the survey, together with the accompanying press release, is available to download from the right-hand menu.

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