“Much more than a song contest”: Exploring Eurovision 2014 as Potlatch

Morten Krogh Petersen, Carina Bregnholm Ren

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Abstract

In this article, we use the concept of the potlatch to explore the organization and valuation of the Eurovision Song Contest held in Copenhagen in 2014. As economic and budgetary scandal marred the event, many bystanders questioned the meaning and sense of this mega event, which we consequently set out to explore. The event was organized and realized as what we term a cross-sectorial innovation project, bringing together a broad array of actors from the public and private sector who collaboratively sought to turn the event into “much more than a song contest”. We explore this “much more” by describing the actors’ arduous work to create value through different project logics that were brought to the table. Hence, we argue, the event can be understood as what Mauss termed a total social phenomenon in which much more than merely economic issues are at stake. However, in valuing the event not much work was put into enacting values transgressing the realm of the quantifiable, which left these as intangibles. As a consequence, we urge for a more engaged and caring approach to valuating cross-sectorial innovation projects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalValuation Studies
Volume3
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)97-118
Number of pages12
ISSN2001-5992
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Valuation
  • Controversy
  • Potlatch
  • Cross-sectorial collaboration
  • Innovation

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