The entrepreneurs' role at arts festivals : the case study of Aardklop National Arts Festival
Entrepreneurs are found globally in all industries. In the tourism industry, entrepreneurs feature strongly in the events sector. The purpose of this study is to determine the entrepreneurs' role at festivals and in this case a national arts festival. The literature revealed that this type of study has not previously been conducted in South Africa. The literature review indicates that arts festivals as income generating events can be seen as an entrepreneurial opportunity to maximise economic activity. Entrepreneurs play a vital role in the success of an event such as arts festival. Entrepreneurs initiate transformation and serve as catalysts of innovation. Entrepreneurs are important role players since they attract and retain visitors and contribute to forming cultural identity of the arts festival. In order to achieve the objective, a survey of all small businesses that were trading at one of South Africa's largest arts festivals, namely the Aardklop National Arts Festival held annually in the city of Potchefstroom, was conducted. Two hundred and twenty two useable questionnaires were captured on Excel and the data analysis included a factor analysis and descriptive results. The questionnaire consisted of three sections: section A - demographical information - 7 questions; section B - information on the business - 8 questions; and section C - festival information - 6 questions. The main results reveal that the most important characteristics contributing to entrepreneurship are: a need for achievement, being successful, having the necessary organising skills, self-edification, being explorative, and commitment. The entrepreneurs indicated that they perceive their role at the arts festival to deliver unique, quality products and services and to market their businesses. The findings from this study contributes to the limited academic research on entrepreneurs at arts festivals and will be beneficial for arts festival organising committees to determine future strategies on including entrepreneurs at arts festivals.