Music Festivals and the Politics of Participation
The spread of UK music festivals has exploded since 2000. In this major contribution to cultural studies, the lid is lifted on the contemporary festival scene. Gone are the days of a handful of formulaic, large events dominating the market place. Across the country, hundreds of ’boutique’ gatherings have popped up, drawing hundreds of thousands of festival-goers into the fields. Why has this happened? What has led to this change? In her richly detailed study, industry insider Dr Roxy Robinson uncovers the dynamics that have led to the formation and evolution of the modern festival scene. Tracing the history of the culture as far back as the fifties, this book examines the tensions between authenticity and commerce as festivals grew into a widespread, professionalized industry. Setting the scene as a fragmented, yet highly competitive market, Music Festivals and the Politics of Participation examines the emergence of key trends with a focus on surrealist production and popular theatricality. For the first time, the transatlantic relationship between British promoters and the social experiment-come-festival Burning Man is documented, uncovering its role in promoting a politics of participation that has dramatically altered the festival experience. Taking an in-depth approach to examining key events, including the fastest growing independent music festival in recent years (Hampshire’s BoomTown Fair) the UK market is shown to have produced a scene that champions co-production and the democratization of festival space. This is a vital text for anyone interested in British culture.
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action camp aesthetic art installations artists associated attend become behaviour Big Chill BoomTown BoomTown Fair boutique festival brand British festival British music festivals Burners Burning Man’s Cacophony Society carnival celebration Clupper coinciding commercial concert-model conspicuous consumer context costume counterculture create creative crowd deployed despite Electric Picnic entertainment ethos event design example expression Facebook fancy dress fans festival audiences festival culture festival experience festival promoters festival sector festival-goers festival’s free festival Glastonbury headline hippie ideal immersive industry interactive Isle of Wight Jay Z jazz Kendal Calling launched line-up Michael Eavis music festivals organizers participation particular performance personal interview pop festivals popular presented principles production profit programming rave Reading Festival rock role scene Secret Garden Party sense shift similarly social media space Spectators subcultures theatrical thematic theme camps ticket sales ticket-buyers UK Festival UK Festival Awards volunteers Wight Festival Woodstock