Live Music Exchange Resources

From Glyndebourne to Glastonbury: The Impact of British Music Festivals – Emma Webster and George McKay (2016)


Author(s): Emma Webster and George McKay
Organisation / Affiliation: Norwich: Arts and Humanities Research Council/University of East Anglia
Date: April 2016

Festivals are at the heart of British music and at the heart of the British music industry. They form an essential part of the worlds of rock, classical, folk and jazz, forming regularly occurring pivot points around which musicians, audiences, and festival organisers plan their lives. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the purpose of this report is to chart and critically examine available writing about the impact of British music festivals, drawing on both academic and ‘grey’/cultural policy literature in the field. The review presents research findings under the headings of:

  • economy and charity;
  • politics and power;
  • temporality and transformation;
  • creativity: music and musicians;
  • place-making and tourism;
  • mediation and discourse;
  • health and well-being; and
  • environmental: local and global.

It concludes with observations on the impact of academic research on festivals as well as a set of recommendations for future research. To accompany the review, a 170-entry, 63,000-word annotated bibliography has been produced, which is freely accessible online via the project website.

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