Suppose they gave a festival and nobody came

Hagan, Daniel (2017) Suppose they gave a festival and nobody came. In: Locating Imagination, 5-7 April 2017, Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Unpublished)

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In the iconography of the nineteen-sixties, music festivals became one of the primary expressions of counter-cultural ideals (Gebhardt, 2015). Drawing on a popular Hippie slogan of that time, and its conflation with events such as the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, allows the attention to be drawn towards the production rather than the consumption of music festivals. While the notion of ‘if you can remember it, you weren’t there’ perhaps captures the mood of the audience, the motivations of the organisers of such large-scale events have been less often foregrounded.

The growth in music festivals has seen a rise in the number of new mediators, as the owners, organisers and designers of music festivals play a key role in imagining temporal spaces for others to inhabit in an experience economy (Pine and Gilmour, 2011). Although Obrist (2014) states that ‘it is not the job of a curator to impose their own signature but to be a mediator between artist and public’, it is evident that each temporal event is unique and unrepeatable. In fact, as Getz (2012) argues, there may be an ever-increasing need to ‘custom-design’ events into highly-targeted festival experiences.

Although research in Event Studies has largely been dominated by generic management concepts (Getz, 2010), recent developments in Event Design have focused on a more theoretical conception of planning and management, where the consumer is often seen as a co-creator of value of the product or service (Rihova, 2014). Through a series of semi-structured interviews, this paper examines the actions and motivations of event managers and designers involved in this creation process, investigating how music festivals are envisioned, developed and managed within a globally competitive marketplace. For while audiences are required to inhabit festival spaces, the question still needs to be asked ‘who produces events and why’ (Getz, 2012).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Business and finance > Business and management > Entrepreneurship
Music > Musicology > Popular music
Depositing User: Daniel Hagan
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 14:54
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:25


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