Live Music Exchange Blog

Professor George McKay on ‘Festival, Industry, Place, Community’: Live Music Exchange Cardiff, November 10th 2012


‘Festival, Industry, Place, Community’

(Click here to watch the video on youtube)

This is the keynote address from the Live Music Exchange: Cardiff event, November 10th, 2012

Professor George McKay gives a wide ranging presentation, which covers the history of music festivals in the context of the music industry, and also deals with its relationship to a sense of place in terms of both society and geography.

From the role of the CND to the tensions between fans of traditional and modern jazz audiences, the violence at Beaulieu and Stonehenge to the evolution of Glastonbury, the music festival has been the site of contested social spaces, reflecting changes in Britain’s cultural and physical landscape.

This paper provides rich anecdotal evidence of the evolution of music festivals since the 1950s, underpinned by analysis of the cultural debates and shifts that it reflected.

George McKay is Professor of Cultural Studies, University of Salford and AHRC Leadership Fellow, Connected Communities Programme.
His publications on music include:
Circular Breathing: The Cultural Politics of Jazz in Britain (London: Duke University Press, 2005)
Glastonbury: A Very English Fair (London: Victor Gollancz, 2000)
Shakin’ All Over: Rock, Pop and Disability is due for publication in 2013, by the University of Michigan Press.

He has also written extensively about DIY culture, social activism and community, was Professor in Residence at Kendall Calling 2011 and plays double bass in Swerve and Adverse Camber.
More details about his academic work and other activities are available at:

The Live Music Exchange: Cardiff event was presented in conjunction with The University of Glamorgan’s Centre for the Study of Media and Culture in Small Nations and brought together academics and a range of practitioners in the live music sphere to discuss ‘Supporting Live Music in Hard Times’.

For more information about this, and forthcoming Live Music Exchange events please visit:

Please note that this is a forum for discussion, dialogue, and debate, and posts and comments on this blog represent only the author, not Live Music Exchange as a whole, or any other hosting or associated institutions.


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