This paper presents a part of a more detailed study into the organisation of a community festival in the East Midlands of the UK. The focus is on how the central steering group imposed a restricted sense of culture onto the festival and how the local communities were distanced from the processes. The literature on festivals is critically reviewed before the issues of involvement and inclusion are examined. The in depth research challenges some of the claims which are made for the benefits of festivals in the literature, particularly those related to cultural identity
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