Crank It to Eleven: Music Festivals Breathe New Life into Cities

Crank It to Eleven: Music Festivals Breathe New Life into Cities

Amelia A. Pridemore (Florida International University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1727-6.ch024
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Music festivals' popularity has exploded, boosting revenues for host cities, artists, businesses, and a struggling recording industry. They also provide an environment very conducive for community development, for both locals and visitors alike. This research attempts to fill a literature gap by building on urban policy and arts policy theories to show how music festivals and music, in general, fit into the academic public administration discourse. These festivals have the potential to increase host cities' residents' quality of life and allow residents and visitors alike to experience new culture and showcase their own. However, a city that considers hosting a music festival cannot dive into the situation without careful considerations of significant challenges others have faced. Given these significant implications for cities for the better or worse, public administration scholars should examine this topic carefully and continue to monitor the new information about these festivals as it develops.
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Relevant Literature

Twenty years ago, the arts’ role in public discourse was traditionally reserved to the First Amendment arena. Now, the arts are getting attention from scholars outside fine arts fields, particularly those in public administration. When examining the role of music festivals and their role in civic engagement as opposed to economic development, the urban studies field provides a very appropriate lens. Strong social ties to place are linked to the concept of “third places” (Oldenburg, 1999). “Third places” is a major theoretical concept that arises when examining how live music venues can contribute to community development and to creating a healthy urban environment.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Buy-In: Having citizens in a city or community see an undertaking as a positive and support it.

Levelers: A word used to describe Third Places because they are, in theory, places where all are on equal social footing.

Third Places: Casual places such as bars, which are major social hubs for communities and, as a result, civic engagement.

Music Festival: An event featuring multiple musical performers and groups. These can feature a single or multiple musical genres, generally take place outdoors, and often involve camping at the site. Festivals will often have various other activities, sometimes involving other aspects of arts and culture, on the grounds.

Touring Festival: A festival with a recognizable brand that travels to multiple locations with a set group of bands.

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