Live Music Exchange Resources

The Landscape of Music Festivals in Australia – Breda McCarthy (2013)


Author(s): Breda McCarthy in Peter Tschmuck, Philip L. Pearce, Steven Campbell (2013) Music Business and the Experience Economy: The Australasian Case, pp 119-134
Publisher:  Springer Berlin Heidelberg

The landscape of festivals in Australia is a diverse one, ranging from large urban festivals to small, community-based rural festivals. Music, in all its forms, has the potential to contribute social, financial and artistic capital to a community. This chapter seeks to explore the human needs fulfilled by music and understand why such festivals and events have become so popular with policy makers and researchers alike. The chapter is organised as follows. Firstly, the universal appeal of music is explained by drawing on academic concepts of emotion, authenticity, experiential consumption, fandom, subcultures and identity. Secondly the concept of a festival is explored, their cultural value is highlighted and a profile of music festivals in Australasia is given. Recent studies strongly suggest that the number, diversity, and popularity of festivals have grown spectacularly over the past several decades. Thirdly, the commodification of music in modern times is described and the ramifications of festivals for local economies, tourism development and the natural environment are explored. Finally, conclusions are drawn about the future of music festivals in the light of the digital age.

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