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Dr Jennie Jordan

Job: Associate Professor, Creative and Cultural Industries

Faculty: Business and Law

School/department: Leicester Castle Business School

Address: Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University (DMU), UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 7697




Personal profile

Jennie specialises in understanding the role of creative business and cultural events in local place-making and identity. She understands the power of community, brand and memorable personal experience in building a successful creative businesses.

Jennie has extensive experience as an entrepreneur and manager within the UK cultural and creative industries, including setting up and running a magazine publishing company and producing festivals. She was a member of the senior team at Leicester Phoenix Arts Centre. She also worked as a consultant with clients including Arts Council England and the UK Government's Department for Culture Media and Sport, the East Midlands Cultural Consortium, Youth Music and Nottingham Playhouse, amongst others.

Jennie's PhD explored festivalisation withinurban policies and ecosystems. She found festival organisations operated on the edges of formal political structures as a place where different interest groups could meet. When she’s not behind her desk or with a class, she might be found researching at an event.

Research group affiliations

The Centre for Urban Research on Austerity (CURA)

Media and Communication Research Centre

Publications and outputs 

  • Problematising Philanthropy in the UK Cultural Sector
    Problematising Philanthropy in the UK Cultural Sector Jordan, Jennie; Jindal, Ruth This chapter outlines the post-recession funding landscape in the UK cultural sector as one view of the creative economy. Focusing on the promotion of philanthropy as a hegemonic funding model for arts organisations and a policy response to public resourcing of the arts, the chapter draws on the empirical evidence of funding changes in the East Midlands, UK, through the ‘Leadership for the Future’ programme by the Arts Council. Drawing on anecdotal evidence, the chapter notes shifting patterns in how the arts are valued in the UK, the dialectical tensions created through new funding pressures and regimes, and the eventual impact in arts curation, which arises from the involvement of private funding partners in an otherwise public art domain
  • 'These Things Don't Happen by Magic': Charismatic autonomy in festival production in the English East Midlands
    'These Things Don't Happen by Magic': Charismatic autonomy in festival production in the English East Midlands Jordan, Jennie Festivals are special times in social life. They interrupt everyday life for periods of celebration. But festivals don’t happen by magic; they are the result of on-going, hidden work by festival producers. Urban arts festivals are multifaceted social phenomena reliant on complex place-based and cultural interest networks. They navigate values and norms with varied identity, place, economic and social meanings. This thesis questions how this largely invisible work shapes urban life, who undertakes this labour, what motivates them, who else is involved and how producers’ underlying value systems influence their effects in regional urban areas in England. In order to address the complexity of festivals as sites and artefacts, research for this thesis was multi-method. Ethnographic methods, cultural production and institutional concepts were synthesised with policy analysis and crystallised into a tripartite Weberian ideal type framework. The typology distinguished between festival’s primary purposes linked to their hetero-regulatory interest groups: arts curation based on aesthetic judgement; commercial priorities within creative industry sectors; and civic outcomes linked to public policies. Three case-studies, one of each type, were researched using thick description techniques to identify themes. The thesis is split into a theoretical section followed by ethnographic research to develop three case-studies: Buxton International Festival, Leicester Comedy Festival and Derby Festé. It asks if festivals are hetero-regulated institutions or autonomous, charismatic actors within their localities and concludes the case-studies were strongly influenced by their founders’ professional habitus within their artistic fields. Although responsive to structural heteronomy in their respective cities, they all resisted pressures to commercialise or lower artistic standards. The thesis concludes festivals are sites where values are negotiated throughout the production cycle and historically as festivals develop and align with wider interests. Policy discourses used to justify public subsidy mask influential players’ power within localities. Professional expertise from founders’ cultural habitus was found to give them intrinsic and instrumental charismatic power. In viewing festivals as cyclical events produced by enduring organisations, this thesis contributes to the field by illuminating festival producers’ charismatic autonomy within the context of hetero-regulatory authorising environments shaped by neoliberal cultural and urban policies.
  • Principles of Festival Management
    Principles of Festival Management Newbold, Chris; Jordan, Jennie; Kelly, P.; Diaz, K.
  • Focus on Finnish Festivals
    Focus on Finnish Festivals Jordan, Jennie This chapter explores the diverse roles that festivals play in Finnish society. As curators of tradition, or sites for cultural experimentation. As symbols of national identity, or local placemaking. It considers the global forces that are driving change in festival production and consumption in Finland. Creative and Cultural Industries Research Group
  • Festivalisation of cultural production: experimentation, spectacularisation and immersion
    Festivalisation of cultural production: experimentation, spectacularisation and immersion Jordan, Jennie This paper reasons that the growth in arts festivals that has taken place since the 1990s has changed the nature of the cultural market and, consequently, is a major cause of the growth in the production of particular sorts of artworks that suit festival settings. Based on interviews and discussions with festival directors and arts producers, participant observation as a producer and audience member, primarily in the UK, together with examples from the literature, this paper explores the question of whether festival aesthetics and specific features of festival production and exhibition are changing the nature of the artwork produced in response to festivalisation. Three festival experience dimensions that are increasingly prevalent in the performing and visual arts are explored: experimentation, spectacularisation and immersion. It concludes that the festivalisation of cultural exhibition poses new management challenges and opportunities to produce innovative kinds of work that retain their aesthetic power Open Access journal
  • The Impact of LCFC on Leicester.
    The Impact of LCFC on Leicester. Granger, R.C.; Brown, D.; Jordan, Jennie Measuring the Economic Impact of LCFC on the Leicester Economy
  • Focus on World Festivals: contemporary case studies and perspectives
    Focus on World Festivals: contemporary case studies and perspectives Newbold, Chris; Jordan, Jennie This book is a companion to Focus on Festivals, it is written by a varied mix of academics, practitioners and cultural commentators. It expands many of the central themes and issues to reach a global understanding of festivals. The key themes this book discusses are: – The nature of festivals, festivalisation and the growth of festival provision around the world Interest in festival’s potential economic, social, place-making and political impacts Festivals as ‘glocal’ players The relationship between festivals and tourism The management and business of festivals in different locations responding to differing social, political and market contexts The role of festivals in identity making Festivals as sites of participation, co-creation and experiences
  • Section 1 Understanding Festivals; Introduction
    Section 1 Understanding Festivals; Introduction Jordan, Jennie Performance Research Group
  • Introduction: focusing on world festivals
    Introduction: focusing on world festivals Newbold, Chris; Jordan, Jennie Performance Research Group
  • The Festivalisation of Contemporary Life
    The Festivalisation of Contemporary Life Jordan, Jennie The exponential growth in cultural festivals around the globe is a phenomenon that has been noted by a variety of authors and researchers. This paper attempts to understand the underlying causes of festivalisation and contents that these lie within wider society. It theorises that there a several dimensions associated with festival production that have been coopted by other sectors of the economy and social life in response to digitisation and globalisation.

Click here to view a full listing of Jennie Jordan's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

 Jordan, J and Jindal, R, 2020, Problematising Philanthropy in the UK Cultural Sector in Granger, R (ed) Value Construction in the Creative Economy, Palgrave MacMillan, pp. 67-84

Jordan, J. 2016 Festivalisation of cultural production: experimentation, spectacularisation and immersion, Journal of Cultural Policy and Management, 6(1), pp.44-55

Newbold, C. & Jordan, J.(eds)  2016 Focus on World Festivals: contemporary case studies and perspectives, Oxford: Goodfellow

Jordan, J. (2016) The Festivalisation of Contemporary Life. In: Newbold, C. and Jordan, J. (eds) Focus on World Festivals: contemporary case studies and perspectives. Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers, pp. 6-18

Jordan, J. (2015) Festival Leadership in Turbulent Times. In: Newbold, C., Maughan, C. Jordan, J.. and Bianchini, F. eds. Focus on Festivals: contemporary European case studies and perspectives, Oxford: Goodfellow, pp. 107-117

Newbold, C., Maughan, C., Jordan, J. and Bianchini, F. (eds) (2015) Focus on Festivals: Contemporary European Case Studies and Perspectives, Goodfellow Publishers: Oxford

Research interests/expertise

Cultural policy and managmen, festival studies, critical event studies, cultural sociology

Areas of teaching

Cultural policy, work in the creative industries, the business of the performing arts


PhD, MBA, PGCE, BA (Hons) English Language and Literature

Courses taught

  • AMAN5012 Cultural Policy
  • LCBS5049 Managing Creative Industries Companies
  • LCBS5025 Business of the Performing Arts

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • Leisure Studies Association
  • Royal Society of Arts

Conference attendance

  • March 2021, International Conference on Cultural Policy Research, presentation on festival production as informal structures within cultural ecosystem
  • September 2019, CAMEo, University of Leicester, presentation on festivals as informal civic institutions
  • September 2017, CAMEo Mediating Cultural Work conference, University of Leicester. Presentation on transferring cultural policy from one country to another.
  • November 2015 Panel member, British Arts Festivals Association annual conference speaking on festival leadership in turbulent times
  • October 2015 ENCACT Conference in Cultural Management and Policy presentation on festivalisation of cultural production
  • September 2014 International Conference in Cultural Policy Research presentation on festival typology
  • November 2011 European Festival Research Programme conference presentation on Place Marketing; the impact of Buxton Festival.
  • November 2009; European Festival Research Programme conference presentation on Leadership at Sidmouth Folk Festival

Current research students

Clare Bowyer, PhD student

Arunima Ghoshal, PhD student

Professional esteem indicators

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

External Examiner, Arts University Bournemouth 2010-2014

External Examiner, Sheffield Hallam University 2016-2020

External Examiner, Queen Margaret University of Edinburgh, 2020

ORCID number


Jennie Jordan photo 2014

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