The purpose of this article is to contribute to the growing body of knowledge that intends to make event studies more critical through a focus on the underresearched demographic of the over 70s. Our discussion is centered on the sociopsychological impacts of arts events on older adults with the development of a conceptual framework drawing upon critical gerontology within the context of event studies. The value of this article is threefold. Firstly, studies drawing upon critical gerontology and the potential benefits of planned events in relation to the over 70s are limited particularly within event studies literature. Secondly, only a limited number of articles have connected the particular issues and opportunities that the over 70s have with most choosing to present areas such as loneliness and isolation as separate rather than interconnected concepts. This article debates the specific challenges around understanding and researching the potential sociopsychological benefits of participatory arts events for the over 70s. The well-being outcomes are particularly important within this demographic where there is a greater risk of isolation and loneliness and of lower self-esteem and self-worth. These key areas of literature set the context of our article in relation to arts event participation and the theoretical debates within critical gerontology. Thirdly, our article proposes a conceptual framework to guide further studies in this area. We aim for this to stimulate the development of a more cohesive body of knowledge and much needed critical dialogue around this underresearched but highly important demographic within events.
- Critical event studies
- Critical gerontology
- Participatory arts events
- Well-being and personal impacts of events