Throughout the world festivals are growing – in numbers, in size, in significance – and serve as spaces where aesthetic encounters, religious and political celebrations, economic investments and public entertainment can take place. In this sense, festivals are theatrical events. This volume contains discussions of 14 diverse festival events from five continents across the globe, written by members of the IFTR/FIRT Working Group on the Theatrical Event, the same group that has produced the ground-breaking study Theatrical Events – Borders Dynamics Frames in 2004 (also published by Rodopi). The events discussed here range from traditional carnivals and festivals to more controversial theatre, dance and opera festivals, children's festivals and community events, as well as saints' and workers' festivities. All of these constitute part of the local playing cultures and take on significant political roles, nationally and regionally. The authors explore and extend the theoretical frames of reference for any contemporary discussion of theatrical events and festivals, in order to provide a new and fresh perspective on past and present festival culture across the globe.