Although events are, if nothing else, displays of sociability, unfortunately the act of writing about them all too often is not. Nonetheless, since this project has been brewing for a number of years, and a lot of my friends and colleagues have had to put up with me ‘going on’ about it for a long time, I have accumulated a fair number of debts to people for their witting or unwitting encouragement and assistance.
Sheffield University colleagues in the late 1980s who shared my original interest in researching and publishing on Sheffield’s ‘World Student Games 1991’ event, and who contributed to my understanding of it, included Roy Darke, Paul Foley and Pat Seyd; and Eddie Friel’s diagnoses of the Games’ problems from a Glaswegian perspective were also helpful. David Perrow in Sheffield University Library assisted with my research in this period.
From the late 1980s the work of Michael Hall on the politics of events and tourism and Ian Henry on the politics of leisure and sport policy has been particularly valuable. Their consistent support on this project is much appreciated. Also in this period, in the world of international research into events, colleagues connected with the journal The Annals of Tourism Research (such as Brent Ritchie, Donald Getz and Jafar Jafari) encouraged my initial interests and work on mega-events. In addition, in more recent years, in the course of my sometimes slow progress on this project, it has been helpful to periodically exchange ideas with colleagues such as Franco Bianchini, John Urry, Chris Rojek, Soledad Garcia, Michael Real, Garry Whannel, Alan Tomlinson, David Chancy and Claudino Ferreira. Ideas and papers related to the themes of this book have been presented and discussed at various international social science conferences and seminars in universities in London and Paris, also in Bilbao, Bielefeld, Loughborough, Leicester and Sheffield. I would like to thank Ian Henry, Franco Bianchini, Liana Giorgi, Alan Tomlinson, Garry Whannel and Peter Taylor for creating the opportunities to make these presentations.
I have always gained a lot from discussions with my doctoral students, particularly on the connections between events, tourism and citizenship, and the various studies of Drs. Alan France, John McColl and Ning Wang made helpful contributions to my thinking about mega-events. Departmental colleagues in the Department of Sociological Studies at Sheffield University who have shown an encouraging and knowledgable interest in event analysis include Sharon MacDonald, Richard Jenkins and my good friend Nick Stevenson. Elsewhere in Sheffield University Peter Jackson, Barrie Gunter, John Arundel, Donald Trelford, Lorna Woods, Peter Taylor and (from