Festivals have burgeoned in rural areas, revitalising old traditions and inventing new reasons to celebrate. How do festivals contribute to tourism, community and a rural sense of belonging? What are their cultural, environmental and economic dimensions? This book answers such questions - featuring contributions from leading geographers, historians, anthropologists, tourism scholars and cultural researchers. It draws on a range of case studies: from the rustic charm of agricultural shows and family circuses to the effervescent festival of Elvis Presley impersonators in Parkes; from wildflower collecting to the cosmopolitan beats of ChillOut, Australia's largest non-metropolitan gay and lesbian festival. Festivals as diverse as youth surfing carnivals, country music musters, Aboriginal gatherings in the remote Australian outback, Scottish highland gatherings and German Christmas celebrations are united in their emphasis on community, conviviality and fun.