This Report represents an overview of the dynamic and impactful role of festivals across the creative economy of South East Asia.   

It is commissioned by the British Council and explores how festivals are driving impact across the region, as anchors and catalysts for an inclusive and sustainable creative economy.  

The report introduces case studies and country overviews from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam. It describes the aspirations and development needs of festivals so they are equipped to play a central role in a post-Covid creative economy.  

The report shows how:   

  • Festivals connect heritage to the contemporary and they signal opportunities for the future.  

  • Festivals are vital platforms for talent development, providing opportunities for artists and creative practitioners to develop their practice, reach and engage audiences and go to the next stage of their creative journey and career.   

  • Festivals are generators of cultural narratives and creative content, commissioning and presenting new work from music to fashion, design to film.  

  • Festivals are central to the formation of creative enterprises and runways for business development across the multiple value chains of the creative economy. Not only do they showcase talent, but they also provide employment and facilitate growth opportunities for all types of creative enterprises, both directly and via their spill-over effects.  

  • Festivals often provide safe spaces for diverse creative expression, introducing talent from all backgrounds to the creative economy.   

  • Festivals are platforms for innovation, drawing on multiple influences, embracing technology, and interfacing with audiences. They are at their hearts spaces for experimentation and boundary-crossing practice.   

  • Festivals support local communities, engaging intercultural and intergenerational dialogue, enhancing the quality of place.   

  • Festivals offer an urgency, activism, and impact-facing agenda, vital for our times.

Download the Executive Summary and the Research Report.