“Much More than a Song Contest”: Exploring Eurovision 2014 as Potlatch
Morten Krogh Petersen: Department of Learning and Philosophy, Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark Carina Ren: Department of Culture and Global Studies, Aalborg University Copenhagen, Denmark
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As economic and budgetary scandals reached Danish front pages in 2014 over the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) held that year in Copenhagen, many bystanders questioned the sense of the event, proclaiming it a massive waste of public money. In this article, we introduce the concept of “potlatch” to explore the valuation and values of this event, seeing it as a “total social phenomenon” in which more than merely economic matters are at stake. Framing Eurovision as a cross-sectoral innovation project, we show how a wide array of actors from the public and private sector collaboratively sought to turn the event into “much more than a song contest.” This “much more” is investigated by describing the partnering actors’ arduous work to create value through different project logics. Where other valuations of the event put little work into bringing forth values which transgress the realm of the economic and quantifiable, we argue that a more caring engagement enacts non-economic event outcomes usually made invisible or, at best, perceived as “intangible.”
Cross-sectoral collaboration; innovation; project logics; events; potlatch; controversy
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Volume 3, Issue: 2, Article 2, 2015

Morten Krogh Petersen, Carina Ren
“Much More than a Song Contest”: Exploring Eurovision 2014 as Potlatch:

Interviews and Other Materials

Interview, Refshale Island Property Company, January 30, 2014.

Interview, Wonderful Copenhagen, Events Director, February 17, 2014.

Interview, Wonderful Copenhagen, Head of the Project Company, February 21, 2014.

Interview, the City of Copenhagen, March 6, 2014.

Project Company ESC 2014 LLP. 2014. Redegørelse om Eurovision Song Contest 2014 [Account of Eurovision Song Contest 2014]. Retrieved from http://www.visitcopenhagen.dk/sites/default/files/asp/visitcopen hagen/Corporate/PDF-filer/ESC2014-red/redegoerelse_om_afvikling _af_esc_2014.pdf, accessed November 16, 2014.

Seminar, partnering organizations (representatives from Wonderful Copenhagen, the City of Copenhagen, the Greater Region of Denmark, Refshale Island Property Company and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation), June 23, 2014.

Wonderful Copenhagen. 2014. Eurovision Song Contest 2014: Tourist Economic Impact Analysis. Retrieved from http://www.visitcopenhagen. dk/sites/default/files/asp/visitcopenhagen/Corporate/PDF-filer/ESC2014-red/bilag_b_-_effektanalyse _af_esc_2014.pdf, accessed November 16, 2014.


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Volume 3, Issue: 2, Article 2, 2015

Morten Krogh Petersen, Carina Ren
“Much More than a Song Contest”: Exploring Eurovision 2014 as Potlatch:
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