Saturday, August 30, 2008


We have a dilemma in our community. On the upside, we have more signature festivals and events than communities much larger. We’re also fortunate they have earned national reputations and leverage the Durham brand.

There are some members of our community though, who are intrigued with securing more and more events. I don’t think it is that they don’t value the events we have. They just don’t realize how fragile festivals are.

You see, festivals compete. Not with one another as much as they compete for time slots, underwriting and sponsorship, volunteers, locations, media attention and audience with all of the other leisure options both residents and visitors have here.

What Durham needs to do is worry more about how to make existing festivals and events sustainable, not recruiting new ones. A lot of communities have generic events…or events so ubiquitous that they don’t add to a community’s distinctiveness.

My opinion and the opinion of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau is that as a community we need to focus on retaining and making our existing events better as well as protecting them as much as possible from the events from the United States of Generica.

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