It wasn't me, it was my festival me: the effect of event stimuli on attendee identity formation

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Consumption of tourism activities plays a symbolic role in the formation of individual and group identity. However, research into specific tourism contexts is unequal, with live music and festival events often overlooked. This research helps rectify the imbalance by exploring consumer identity formation during a live festival event. Literature first reviews identity theory, before contextualizing to the festival event. Inconsistencies in identity levels, and confusion over the contribution active context plays within identity formation are emphasized. These uncertainties are explored using an interpretivist methodology, namely thematically analyzed, semi-structured interviews and researcher observation. Discussion identifies four unique levels of identity and highlights stimuli that contribute to these levels. Positioned within the ‘Event Identity Model’, Event Identity – a harmonious identity between the individual, other attendees, and the event, is deemed the optimal identity state. Recommendations focus on providing a consistent consumer identity pre-, during, and post-event to increase consumer enjoyment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-500
Number of pages17
JournalTourism Management
Early online date23 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2017


  • consumer identity
  • event identity
  • identity formation
  • festival event


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