Call for book chapters

Book title: ‘Festivals and Edutainment’


This is a call for chapters of the book ‘Festivals and Edutainment’, that aims to be published in the Routledge Critical Event Studies Research Series. 

Book editors: Dr Giulia Rossetti, Oxford Brookes University; Dr Brianna Wyatt, Oxford Brookes University; and Professor Jane Ali-Knight, Edinburgh Napier University.


Aims of the book 

The book explores festivals as occasions where education and entertainment can take place simultaneously. It includes investigations on how festivals are designed as edutainment experiences, as well as how audiences consume festivals and their learning outcomes as a result of attending.

Etymologically, edutainment is often attributed to Walt Disney, who in (1954) argued for the mixing of education and entertainment for more enjoyable learning experiences. However, the term was popularised in 1973 by Robert Heyman whilst producing documentaries for the National Geographic Society (McKinney, 2018). The term has since been used to describe a variety of activities that mix education and entertainment across a wide spectrum of fields. Within the tourism and events industries, edutainment is recognised as an interpretation approach that comprises theming, storytelling, technology, set design, and both non-personal (i.e., static, passive) and personal (i.e., interactive, innovative) interpretive methods. Together, these factors help to create edutainment experiences that are either immersive or interactive, where audiences actively participate in their experience (e.g., hands-on activities, live action role play) or they are non-immersive or spectatorial, where audiences observe the experience (e.g., live show, performance, film) (Rapeepisarn et al., 2006).

Calls have been made for closer investigations into how festivals are designed to promote edutainment activities, as well as how people consume edutaining festival experiences and their perceptions of their personal learning outcomes (Rossetti and Quinn, 2021; Szabó’s, 2015; Wilks & Quinn, 2016). Indeed, ‘there is much potential to extend research into the learning dimensions of the… festival experience’ (Rossetti and Quinn, 2019, p. 108). Although experienced in a range of activities from education, healthcare, gaming and tourism, this book emphasises edutainment within the festival and events industry. Addressing its conceptual development, this book explores the ongoing debate relating to edutainment and its associations with Disney and commercialisation within the festival context. It also presents an analysis of edutainment methods used in festivals in order to demonstrate the relationship between education and entertainment for audiences' experiences. Moreover, it includes conversations on how attendees and visitors consume festivals through edutainment activities, and their personal educational and hedonistic outcomes. Finally, this book intends to emphasise the significance of edutainment for future festival practice with a discussion of current experience-driven consumerism. Use of case studies and practitioner experiences to emphasis key theory.

The festivals industry is an increasingly competitive market, where experiences are plentiful, and consumers are experienced and technologically driven. Influenced by mass media, visitors have shifted from being spectators to participants, establishing an experience driven generation of consumers. As a result, edutainment experiences are now an expectation, as visitors seek experiences that are not only informative or educational, but also captivating, intense and exciting (Cabanas, 2020). The future of festivals is greater creativity, innovation and adapting to new ways of connecting audiences with stories, history, heritage, culture, science, art, film, etc. For the festivals that have resisted edutainment methods until now, the impact of recent events with COVID-19 has been devastating but has also demonstrated the importance of being digitally equipped, creative and willing to adapt as necessary. Easing into the edutainment arena and appealing to the experience-generation may be to begin offering virtual and AR experiences, as this has already proven successful for some events, museums and destinations.

Submission guidelines 

Recommended chapter topics (suggested, but not limited to):

1.       Planning Edutainment

  • The value of planning edutainment festivals

  • Planning informal learning experiences through edutainment at festivals

  • Stakeholder influences of designing edutainment experiences at festivals


2.       Audience engagement

  • Enhancing the learned experience though immersion at festivals

  • Audience engagement and experience

  • Edutainment and the Disney effect in creating festivalisation


3.       Sustainability, equality and diversity

  • Managing inclusivity and diversity with edutainment for festivals

  • Sustainable edutainment activities and experiences at festivals


4.       Methodological approaches

  • Methodological reflections on analysing how festivals are planning edutainment experiences

  • Methodological reflections on analysing how festival participants experience edutainment and their personal edutainment outcomes

  • Edutainment, technology and the future of festival experiences


5.       Learning and Experience 

  • Managing commercial experiences and sense of authenticity through edutainment at cultural festivals

  • Engaging audiences in deep learning experiences through edutainment festival experiences

  • Valuing the impacts of edutainment experiences for festivals

  • Edutainment for festival community development


Case studies linked to each of the 5 sections are welcome. Potential Festival case study topics:

  • Dark festivals

  • Fringe festivals

  • Community festivals

  • Science festivals

  • Film festivals

  • Literary festivals

  • Food festivals


Each chapter will consist of ‘Introduction, Materials and methods, Results and Discussion’, Conclusion, and References’. 

Each chapter will be about 5 - 7,000 (max) words in length.

Abstract: 250-500 words, and up to 5 keywords.

Abstract submission via email to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Key dates

Abstract/Chapter Proposal Submission: December 6, 2021

Notification of Acceptance:  January 17, 2022

Full Chapter Submission Deadline:  April 25, 2022

Feedback/ Reviews Notification to Authors: June 30, 2022  

Revised Chapter Submission Deadline: September 30, 2022

Full Book Submission to the Publisher: October, 2022 


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Cabanas, E. (2020) Experiencing designs and designing experiences: emotions and theme parks from a symbolic interactionist perspective. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 16, 100330.

  • Disney, W. (1954) Educational values in factual nature pictures. Phi Delta Kappa International, 33(2), 82–84.

  • McKinney, S. (2018) Educational techniques and methodology. Waltham Abbey: Ed-tech Press.

  • Rapeepisarn, K., Wong, K.W., Fung, C.C. and Depickere, A. (2006) Similarities and differences between" learn through play" and" edutainment". In: Proceedings of the 3rd Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment, 4-6 December 2006, Perth, W.A pp. 28-32.

  • Rossetti, G. and Quinn, B. (2021) Understanding the cultural potential of rural festivals: A conceptual framework of cultural capital development. Journal of Rural Studies, Vol 86, pp. 46-53.  

  • Rossetti, G. and Quinn, B. (2019) Learning at Literary Festivals in Literary Tourism: Theories, Practice and Case Studies, Jenkins and Lund, CABI.

  • Szabó, J. Z. (2015). Festivals, conformity and socialisation. In C. Newbold, C. Maugan, J. Jordan & B. Franco (Eds.), Focus on festivals. Contemporary European case studies and perspectives (pp. 40-52). Woodeaton: Goodfellow Publishers Limited.

  • Wilks, L., and Quinn, B. (2016). Linking social capital, cultural capital and heterotopia at the folk festival. Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology, 7(1), 23-39.