The guitar is one of the most popular instruments in the world of music. Since the 1980s, it has been the leitmotiv of the Cordoba Guitar Festival, among the most important cultural events in Spain. The festival’s title alone combines two awe-inspiring concepts: The guitar—the instrument par excellence of Spanish music—and Cordoba, a World Heritage site and host to the event.
According to Horng, So, and Su [1
], festivals are tourism-motivating events and pillars that support the development and consolidation of tourist destinations. As Fonseca and Ramos [2
] have shown, these events are a place of encounter, socialisation, and where unique experiences can be enjoyed. These same authors argue that festivals are associated with cultural identities, lifestyles, and consumption habits and, therefore, each musical genre is identified with a type of subculture. In this line, Horng, So and Su [1
] affirm that it is important to determine the impact of such events for cities, the motivations of the attendees, the segmentation of the spectators, and their levels of satisfaction. This paper is inspired in this last aspect, albeit obviously, with its own approach.
The festival offers two complementary schemes: (i) A concert programme where world-class guitarists are invited to perform; and (ii) a programme of training courses led by teachers of different musical guitar styles. Over 20,000 spectators have attended the concerts in recent festival editions, while over 150 people have attended the training courses, most of them foreigners.
The main objective of this paper is to contribute to the scientific literature related to festivals as elements of cultural and tourist development. In this regard, the most relevant sociodemographic characteristics of the attending public are presented, focusing especially on their motivations, expectations, and level of satisfaction with the concerts and courses offered. To this end, this article analyses the responses of the spectators on the different activities and events during the 10 days of the festival following Abreu-Novais and Arcodia [3
]. The data were collected by means of a questionnaire administered to spectators attending the 36th festival held in July 2016, and the results were analysed using a structural equation model (SEM), whose main feature is the use of latent and observed variables. The latent variables include musical preferences
, attitudinal loyalty
, behavioural loyalty
, and to a lesser degree of importance, the economic impact on the city
1.2. Literature Review
As Bowen and Daniels [4
] have shown, music festivals are unique, special events that attract spectators for a variety of reasons. According to Saayman and Saayman [5
], musical events, in the same way as art festivals, are able to offer spectators a musical genre, for example, classical music, or a combination of several genres. Many authors have studied music festivals, among them Abreu-Novais and Arcodia [3
], Formica and Uysal [6
], Brown and Knox [7
], Li and Lin [8
], Kruger and Saayman [9
], Pérez-Gálvez et al. [10
], Kruger and Saayman [11
], and Kruger and Saayman [12
The consumption of different musical categories is influenced by sociodemographic factors and motivations and the fact that different musical genres have different target audiences [13
]. Music festivals have the potential to create benefits beyond the festival itself or the host destination, in particular by encouraging the appreciation of a musical genre, increasing the purchase of musical products, and promoting musical tourism, according to Kruger and Saayman [9
]. Likewise, Wróblewski et al. [14
], and Getz and Page [16
] studied the sustainable management of cultural events, a relatively new field in the economy of culture.
This section presents a review of the SEM literature that has supported this research. Elosua [17
] proposed a model in the framework of SEM to assess preferences among quality of life dimensions for the elderly. Likewise, the recent work of Caridad and Ocerín [18
] provides clear examples of SEM using AMOS. As regards the classical literature on this topic, Bagozzi and Heatherton [19
] proposed a framework for representing personality constructs at four levels of abstraction using latent variables. Browne and Cudeck [20
] considered two types of error involved in fitting a model: The error of approximation and overall error. According to Bentler [21
], normed—coefficient yield new normed (CFI)—and non-normed fit indexes (FI) are frequently used as adjuncts to chi-square statistics for evaluating the fit of a structural model. Moreover, Bollen [22
] provided a comprehensive and more advanced treatment of structural equations with latent variables.
Several researchers have used statistical methods such as SEM to examine the relationships between spectator motivation and satisfaction as well as future behavioural loyalty, among them Zins [23
], Gallarza and Gil Saura [24
], Lee and Hsu [25
], Sun et al. [26
], Li and Lin [8
], Prebensen et al. [27
], and Kruger and Saayman [12
As Kruger and Saayman [12
] have argued, it is important to market the festival properly because visitors’ motives are strongly related to their behavioural intentions. Prebensen et al. [28
] used a SEM approach and found that motivation and participation are linked to the perceived value of the tourist experience, and that motivation affects the level of participation. This supports the hypothesis that motivation has a positive effect on the perceived value of the destination experience. This same hypothesis is also supported by the study of [27
] using SEM.
Mason and Paggiaro [29
] analysed the importance of festivals in determining emotions, satisfaction, and future behaviour of participants in gastronomic events. The authors used SEM with latent variables to survey the responses of attendees to the Italian festival Friuli DOC.
Several studies have analysed loyalty using SEM, such as Chen and Chen [30
]. Munusturalar et al. [31
] suggested that future research could use SEM to determine the relationships between scales, including festival experience, festival loyalty, and festival benefits. Chen and Chen [30
] used SEM to examine tourists’ experience of heritage tourism. The authors showed that the quality of the experience has a direct effect on perceived value and satisfaction, which supports the hypothesis that an increase in tourists’ perceived value increases behavioural intentions (increased loyalty). This hypothesis is also supported by Tam [32
], who found that perceived value affects behavioural intentions both directly and indirectly. Sirakaya-Turk et al. [33
] examined the relationship between hedonic and utilitarian values and tourists’ overall shopping experience satisfaction and destination loyalty. The authors tested hypotheses on the hedonic value of word-of-mouth purchasing and the utilitarian value of word-of-mouth purchasing and found that the first hypothesis is supported but that the second is not significant.
Other studies using SEM, such as Zins [23
], Gallarza and Gil Saura [24
], and Prebensen et al. [27
], do not directly relate perceived value to loyalty but through satisfaction, finding support for both hypotheses (perceived value–satisfaction and satisfaction–loyalty). Although these studies do not report the indirect effects, satisfaction is very likely a mediating variable between perceived value and loyalty. Lastly, the study of Sun et al. [26
] using SEM does not support the hypothesis that higher perceived value leads to increased spectator loyalty.
The structural models developed in the study of Li and Lin [8
] establish that the values of the visitors to a musical festival have a positive effect on visitor satisfaction and loyalty, and that satisfaction also influences loyalty. It has also been found that the most significant value in satisfaction is functional value, while in loyalty, it is emotional value. Finally, according to Kruger and Saayman [9
], the importance of analysing music festivals lies in the fact that events could have far-reaching benefits which can contribute to their legacy.
In accordance with the review of the literature, the following hypotheses have been formulated:
Individual musical preferences influence spectator festival experience.
The study of musical preferences provides an indicator of the importance that the public gives to the programmed concerts. In this sense, there is a first dimension, which can be called electroacoustic, by revealing preferences towards concerts featuring electric guitars and/or electroacoustic guitars. A second dimension shows greater preferences towards Spanish guitar concerts. Thus, the presence of both dimensions makes it possible to test if the spectators attending the festival have different musical tastes or preferences in relation to the guitar as a musical instrument. Moreover, each segment of spectators is generally considered as a group that has the same interests, identical motivations, similar perspectives, and similar sociodemographic characteristics. Kruger [34
] defines market segmentation as the process of subdividing into smaller groups with homogeneous characteristics or behaviours. To this end, the author identifies different variables that can be used in the segmentation process. According to Saayman and Saayman [13
], market segmentation is important because visitors have different needs, motives, or lifestyles.
Spectator festival experience is measured by level of satisfaction.
Crompton and McKay [35
] point out three reasons for analysing spectators’ motives for attending festivals: (i) Motives are a key element in designing and offering products to the visitors, since different visitors need and want different things; therefore, if we correctly identify the motives, the festival will be a success; (ii) motives are closely related to satisfaction, and satisfaction affects repetition (loyalty); and (iii) the identification of motivations is a key element to understand spectators’ decision processes. Uysal et al. [36
] and Yolal et al. [37
] allude to five different motives: Escape, excitement/thrills, event novelty, socialisation, and family togetherness.
Level of satisfaction affects loyalty. Two variables related to loyalty were analysed: Attitudinal loyalty, which measures the probability of recommending the festival, and behavioural loyalty, which measures the number of festivals and concerts attended.
Spectator satisfaction with the festival can be a key element to determine future behaviour (loyalty) towards that festival (Kim et al. [38
]). Spectators report high satisfaction with their experience in the festival, with attendance to the musical preferences of the public being the most important aspect. The results reveal that spectators’ perception of the festival differs significantly and is much more positive among those with more heterogeneous preferences.
The analysis of satisfaction is of interest due to its relationship with other related concepts, such as loyalty. Loyalty can be defined as the public’s commitment to the festival and is manifested through their intention to revisit the festival in the future and recommend it if someone asks for advice (attitudinal loyalty). The results for reported satisfaction show a high degree of loyalty to the festival as a cultural destination. This finding is in line with the rate of repetition to the festival, as seven out of ten respondents had already attended festivals in the past. On the other hand, the level of loyalty is higher among spectators whose musical preferences are more heterogeneous. The existing differences show evidence of satisfaction as an essential requirement to improve the positioning of the festival as a cultural product. This information is useful for the growth of the festival as a cultural destination and as a source of activity and income generation.
The level of economic impact of the festival is influenced by spectators’ musical preferences.
The null hypothesis (H0), corresponding to the four hypotheses, is that the influence of musical preferences is not detected, and furthermore the alternative hypotheses are contrary to the previous ones, that is, they do not have effect on each other. The alternative hypotheses, in each of the four cases, are precisely H1, H2, H3, and H4. Taking this into account, when obtaining a model in which these hypotheses are related to the observed variables, the influences foreseen in these four hypotheses are accepted. Thus, the musical preferences influence the experience of the festival and its economic impact, and the level of satisfaction determines the overall experience of the festival and its economic impact.
To test the hypotheses, SEM was used; a statistical tool which has become increasingly popular among social science researchers. The model enables investigating a set of relationships among one or more continuous or discrete independent variables and developing a way of breaking down the observed correlations into a system of equations that describe the hypotheses concerning causal relationships. According to Batista-Foguet and Coenders [39
], the aim of SEM is to study the causal relationships among directly observable data under the assumption that the relationships are linear.