Live Music Exchange Resources

Typological trends in contemporary popular music performance venues – Robert Kronenburg (2011)


Author: Robert Kronenburg
Organisation/Affiliation/Publisher: Arts Marketing: An International Journal, 1 (2), pp. 136-144
Date: 2011

This paper seeks to explore the design of popular music performance space, focusing particularly on recent developments that are changing the form and operation of permanent venues and travelling stages. Its objective is to analyse the typology of existing venues but also to chart the emergence of new and distinct building forms in response to changing artist, promoter and audience demands.  The paper investigates the factors that determine the architecture of live performance space, based on the research project’s detailed examination of specific examples that range from small music clubs to large and complex stadium-sized buildings. The paper introduces the research themes that have shaped the author’s book Live Architecture: Popular Music Venues, Stages and Arenas, which will be published in 2011. The paper proposes a new categorisation of buildings as; adopted, adapted and dedicated music performance environments, and explores the significance of mobile facilities as architecture in their own right, but also as a modifier of place and space. It identifies factors that are changing the scale and operation of performance venues and articulates the implications for new venues. This paper presents a continuing research project that is examining for the first time popular music performance building design as a distinct architectural genre. It proposes for the first time a building typology in order to increase our understanding of how the most successful spaces have been created, and how future ones might safeguard live music’s power and immediacy for its audiences.

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