Reminiscence and wellbeing: reflecting on past festival experiences during Covid lockdowns

Emma Wood, Maarit Kinnunen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: To explore the value in reminiscing about past festivals as a potential way of improving wellbeing in socially isolated times. Design/methodology/approach: The paper uses previous research on reminiscence, nostalgia and wellbeing to underpin the analysis of self-recorded memory narratives. These were gathered from 13 pairs of festivalgoers during Covid-19 restrictions and included gathering their individual memories and their reminiscences together. The participant pairs were a mix of friends, family and couples who had visited festivals in the UK, Finland and Denmark. Findings: Four key areas that emerged through the analysis were the emotions of nostalgia and anticipation, and the processes of reliving emotions and bonding through memories. Research limitations/implications: Future studies could take a longitudinal approach to see how memory sharing evolves and the impact of this on wellbeing. The authors also recommend undertaking similar studies in other cultural settings. Practical implications: This study findings have implications for both post-festival marketing and for the further development of reminiscence therapy interventions. Originality/value: The method provides a window into memory sharing that has been little used in previous studies. The narratives confirm the value in sharing memories and the positive impact this has on wellbeing. They also illustrate that this happens through positive forms of nostalgia that centre on gratitude and lead to hope and optimism. Anticipation, not emphasised in other studies, was also found to be important in wellbeing and was triggered through looking back at happier times.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Event and Festival Management
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 May 2023
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Covid-19
  • Music festivals
  • Nostalgia
  • Sharing memories
  • Wellbeing

Field of science

  • Health care science

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