Creating Authenticity in a Commercial Setting (8/16)

This paper takes a look at the commercialization of modern music festivals compared to those festivals of the past that were born out of “counter-cultural discourse”. It analyzes how festivals balance this commercialization with the goal of creating an authentic experience for festival-goers. It applies concepts of socio-spatial engagement to its analysis and determines that festival goers contribute to the creation of a festival “aura”. This is defined as a place of sense and atmosphere that permeates the festival-goer’s experience. The paper finds that this “aura” is co-created by festival-goers as well as “other overlapping elements of the festival place”. The “other elements'” include commercially-produced spaces that, despite their corporate origin, are “apart” and different from everyday life in that they’re designed to engage with different target segments in a unique way.

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