The engagement of the Service function increases the industry aspect
Up to present, Hue Festival has been organized 10 times for more than 22 years, with a mission of awakening and reviving Vietnam’s cultural values, Hue’s culture, art, relics, and lifestyle, and building Hue an international-recognized Vietnam's Festival City. At the same time, it is a chance to actively receive and absorb valuable artistic creation trends of the world's cultural quintessence.
As one of the individuals who “went through the years” and had a great contribution to the “birth” of Hue Festival, Mr. Nguyen Xuan Hoa, a cultural researcher, is always proud that Hue Festival was born with a “pioneer mission” in building and developing the festival into a tourism product. It is no doubt that Hue was the only and the first locality thinking of and hosting such a festival to attract tourists during the off-peak period of the 2000s.
“The pioneer aspect of Hue Festival was also shown in building for itself an advanced ‘technology’ organization at that time, that was not confused with any other festivals in the country, through the IN programs (ticketing) and OFF programs (no ticketing). The festival was divided into an organization time frame. Important highlights were held on a 3-day cycle and fitted a tour at that time. The festival always emphasized the cultural integration and development, required quality programs and the so-called ‘avant-garde art’. These are all what Hue has been promoting and will foster in the coming time,” said the Cultural Researcher Nguyen Xuan Hoa.
As becoming an industry, all activities are well organized with good results
Over twenty years, Hue Festival also closed a “life cycle” - a form of organizing full-week festival activities. Another form of a “Four-season festival” was taken on. The pioneer aspect in organizing a festival was once again manifested. Besides, the role of socio-economic development was enhanced when Hue is implementing solutions to become a centrally-governed city.
As a chief director of Hue Festival 2022 as General Director, Director Quang Tu said that artists always evaluated and participated in Hue Festivals as an opportunity to assert their names on the pinnacle art forum. Therefore, in addition to the requirements about the standards of organization, production and implementation, the Organizing Committee always expects a festival with “higher level - more impression - more attraction” compared to the former festivals. This is a challenge and motivation for art makers’ continuous creativeness for avant-garde performances and activities.
Although there are still things that need to be improved, it is confirmed that the orientation of organizing the four-season Hue Festival is an inevitable trend. It is also suitable for its “second life cycle” to meet the demand of renewing itself to carry out the important task of socio-economic development.
Visitors and local people enjoy activities of Hue Festival
In the rush to prepare the plan for the “Four-Season Festival” in 2023, Huynh Tien Dat, Director of Hue Festival Center, confidently affirmed that Hue Festival has taken the first steps in changing its organizational form. Its successes in 2022 have proved this, together with the response of the community, and created a premise for tourism development. When spreading the festival all year round, the festival’s quality would be ensured and improved.
For example, the Kite festival was “forgotten” in a lavish feast in previous festivals. Or, the Lantern festival was merely props and decorations for the festival. Both of them are now the festival’s subject, forming a brand and restored craft industry.
From initial successes, Mr. Dat raised issues that need more consideration in the next years to better privatize activities and reduce pressure in festival organization, and to elevate and professionalize to a scale of organization “technology”. The main objective is from a better culture conservation to the promotion and development of a tourism-based economy, that create a momentum for the development of the “cultural industry”.
A “Festival economy” or more specifically, making an economy from the festival is a new and sometimes strange concept for many people. People used to think of a festival as a time when residents gather or a solemn community activity, that bring excitement to everyone. But as mentioning the economy, it is necessary to raise it to an “industry” level. After elevating and professionalizing the organization, the “industry” is enabled to refine and perfect the service.
When it comes to an “industry”, it is about an ensemble, in which the role of commerce must be further placed, and the connectivity between managing agencies and the people and each relevant business enterprise needs to be tighter. The “industry” would create a continuous “battalion” as it reaches its peak, including subjects participating in the organization, each citizen, each activity, each venue..., to be able to meet all the needs of the audience. Like a spiritual festival, a successful “industry” will help visitors return to their roots and homeland, to their ancestors, their homeland, and their religious beliefs.
Hue Festival is a festival tourism product and a specific type of cultural tourism. Festival activities are of economic and social importance. During the festivals, carnivals are preserved and developed. They also create jobs, bringing prosperity to the spiritual and material lives of local people.
More than that, the destination would be more attractive by attracting tourists to visit, study and learn about the cultural value of the land through festivals. The festival is a great strength to create a unique tourism product of Hue, a cultural land with beautiful and charming landscapes, and a typical Festival city.
Story, photos: Hanh Nguyen