This paper examines the role of politics and power in the Notting Hill Carnival's evolution from a community festival to a hallmark event and tourism product. It overcomes the limitations of previous event/festival tourism research by utilizing Actor Network Theory's conceptualization of power as an evolving, relational and transformational phenomenon to analyse the development of the Notting Hill Carnival's festivalscape. Findings reveal over its fifty-plus-year history, non-human actors (such as, money) and human actors (such as, organizing committees) have engaged in continuous, complex ordering processes that have led to the development of six distinct festival frames – Community Festival, Trinidad Carnival, Caribbean Carnival, Black Arts Festival, Business Opportunity and City-led Hallmark Festival. These changes have taken place within a festivalscape that includes objects, space, the translation process, pivotal events and dissenting actors. Within the festivalscape, political actors have exerted significant influence due to their asymmetrical power creating challenges for festival organizers.
- actor network theory
- Notting Hill Carnival