International Festivals in a Post Covid Reality

Oxford Brookes University recently hosted academics from Ulster University and Portsmouth who collaborated on a project where advanced technology and co-creation were leveraged to provide solutions for event’s Emerging from Covid-19. The event was titled “Emerging from Covid-19: Options for the Events Industry” and was hosted by Dr Nicole Ferdinand. In the first part of the discussion Dr Ferdinand looked back at previous pandemics, event organisation responses and options available to event teams moving forward with their respective events. This was followed by a unique insight from Principal Investigator Dr John Bustard who shared insights from the International North West 200 – Ireland’s largest outdoor event which is a motor cycle road racing experience held across one week in May each year and has been in existence for over 90 years.


In the following video Dr Ferdinand sets out the challenges and options available to event organisers in moving forward at this time.

Risk, Context and Options for Events During COVID-19 Pandemic- Perspective

Dr John Bustard, Department of Management, Leadership and Marketing, at Ulster University then outlined the online event experiences deployed by the International NW200 during lockdown which leveraged aspects of their research into utilising advanced technology implementations to co-create virtual experiences to keep fans engaged.

Dr John Bustard outlines the online event experiences deployed by the International NW200 during lockdown

Resources you might want to check out related to this topic:

Facebook page for the NW200 – https://www.facebook.com/northwest200
Bustard, J.R.T., Bolan, P., Devine, A. and Hutchinson, K. (2019) The emerging smart event experience: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Tourism Review, 74 (1), pp.116-128


Ritchie, B.W. and Reid, S., (2017) Risk Management. In N. Ferdinand and P.J. Kitchin (Eds.) Event Management: An International Approach. London: Sage Publications (pp. 211-237).

Williams, N.L., Ferdinand, N. and Bustard, J., (2019) From WOM to aWOM–the evolution of unpaid influence: a perspective article. Tourism Review, 75 (1), pp.314-318

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