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Festivals help to fuel sense of belonging

Date: 29/04/2016

A new report that examines the wide ranging impact of British Music Festivals has been published by AHRC fellow Professor George McKay.

Launched at the annual Cheltenham Jazz Festival the report “From Glyndebourne to Glastonbury: The Impact of British Music Festivals” takes a detailed look at the wider economic, social and cultural impact of music festivals. The report shows how the hugely popular and diverse festivals help to create a sense of community and belonging for the people attending and help to generate wider benefits for the local economies and communities.

Prof McKay, a professor in media studies in UEA’s School of Art, Media and American Studies, said: “When you think about it, it’s extraordinary that the music festival has become such a dominant feature of the seasonal cultural landscape, especially the outdoors pop festival.

“With the vagaries of the typical British summer there is often mud, toilet facilities are usually not the most pleasant, traffic jams in country lanes, crowds on site everywhere, watching bands playing in the distance. And yet, festivals thrive today. Why? Because, while culture and life may be ever more fragmented, festivals speak to our need for community and belonging, they can offer us an intense, special space-time experience, often in a beautiful landscape, surrounded by the music we like.”

Find out what the boom in music festivals has meant for the UK in 'From Glyndebourne to Glastonbury: The Impact of British Music Festivals' (PDF, 4MB)

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