For decades, millions of music fans have gathered every summer in parks and fields to hear their favorite bands at festivals such as Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Glastonbury. How did these and countless other festivals across the globe evolve into glamorous pop culture events, and how are they changing our relationship to music, leisure, and public culture? In Everyone Loves Live Music, Fabian Holt looks beyond the marketing hype to show how festivals and other institutions of musical performance have evolved in recent decades, as sites that were once meaningful sources of community and culture are increasingly subsumed by corporate giants.
Examining a diverse range of cases across Europe and the United States, Holt upends commonly-held ideas of live music and introduces a pioneering theory of performance institutions. He explores the fascinating history of the club and the festival in San Francisco and New York, as well as a number of European cities. This book also explores the social forces shaping live music as small, independent venues become corporatized and as festivals transform to promote mainstream Anglophone culture and its consumerist trappings. The book further provides insight into the broader relationship between culture and community in the twenty-first century. An engaging read for fans, industry professionals, and scholars alike, Everyone Loves Live Music reveals how our contemporary enthusiasm for live music is more fraught than we would like to think.