Music festival experience: cyclic place and cyclic sociality

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The hedonistic freedoms and social experience of the festival sector are, as shown by numerous studies, the primary motivational factors for attendance, though they are by no means the only ones. For instance, the “search for authentic experience” and “transcendence of the self” are also important. Furthermore, “socializing” may be extended, for annually occurring events, into a “sense of belonging” associated with an event, its location, and with festivalgoers who return each year. It is this sense of belonging which underpins the “cyclic sociality” and “cyclic place” of an event – theoretical developments which lie at the heart of this presentation. Festivals that are held over many years may develop a coherent “sense of place” (Relph 1976), one that is imbued with personal meaning—a spatial identification with the event and its host location that helps develop brand loyalty and encourage regular attendance. Festivals become part of how people think about themselves, and the activities and memories become part of their collective experience. Drawing on fieldwork at a number of British festivals, these theoretical developments will be explored to help understand further the social experience of the outdoor music festival sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPopular music climates
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings from the XXI Biennial Conference of IASPM, Daegu, South Korea, 5th – 9th July 2022
EditorsKimi Kärki
PublisherInternational Institute for Popular Culture
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-29-9427-4
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2023
EventXXI Biennial Conference of IASPM - Daegu, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 5 Jul 20229 Jul 2022


ConferenceXXI Biennial Conference of IASPM
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of

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