Live Music Exchange Resources

Patterns of listening through social media: online fan engagement with the live music experience – Lucy Bennett (2012)


Author(s): Lucy Bennett
Publisher:  Social Semiotics, 22:5, pp. 545-557
Date: 2012

In recent years, the expansion and use of mobile Internet and social media have changed live music engagement and fandom quite considerably. It has not only allowed fans to find and connect with each other at shows, but also to tweet and text concert set-lists and other information as they happen, thereby allowing non-attendees around the world to feel part of the event.

This study examines the responses of fans engaged in this activity, identifying the key themes and patterns apparent within this behaviour, arguing that fans are using social media and mobile technology in an effort to contest and reshape the boundaries of live music concerts. It demonstrates how these online tools are involving fans that are not physically present at the show, seemingly incorporating them into the real-time “live” experience. This article explores how fans of prolific touring artists U2 and Tori Amos undertake this, with assigned concert attendees tweeting the set-list to online fans, where they gather to enjoy the show together, from the comfort of their computers.


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