This paper analyses existing research with reference to motivations for attending special events with specific reference to musical performances. Its purpose is to identify emerging themes, detect similarities and contradictions, and uncover gaps in knowledge that need to be addressed by further research. While the overall aim is to understand the motivations to attend music festivals, the lack of specific studies in this area requires the analysis of motivations to be conducted within the broader context of special events. The first two sections of the paper therefore identify, describe and analyse the main motivational theories and frameworks utilised in the special event context and subsequently critically examines these theories. It is suggested that the most relevant issues are motivational dimensions, the relationship between motivation and socio-demographic variables and the generalisability of motivators. A section specifically on music festivals is then presented and analysed in greater detail. The final section concludes the analysis by highlighting the significant overall findings and identifying the gaps in the existing literature so that future studies may use this as a platform for guidance in further research.
Keywords: Motivation; Event Attendance; Music Festivals
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