Music Festivals in the UK (Ashgate Publishing, forthcoming)
Chris Anderton


This book will develop new theoretical and contextual approaches to understanding outdoor popular music festivals, drawing on the author’s research into the UK festival market. Prior academic work in this area has typically focused either on the carnivalesque heritage of music festivals, or on developing managerial tools for the field of Events Management. This book will move beyond these perspectives to open the discussion regarding other ways to understand and theorise the cultural, social and geographic importance of outdoor greenfield popular music festivals in a UK context. It will show how changes in the sector since the mid-1990s (such as corporatisation, mediatisation, commercialisation of ancillary services, regulatory control, and sponsorship/branding) should not necessarily be regarded as a process of transgressive ‘alternative culture’ being co-opted by commercial concerns, but as a reconfiguration of the sector, and a broadening of the potential for outdoor music events.

Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach, the book will also investigate how technological change and shifts in the music industries as a whole have affected the festival sector (such as the increasing significance of live music and sponsorship/branding as key revenue drivers in an age of low cost digital distribution and piracy); the importance of ‘place’, ‘cyclicity’ and ‘sociality’ to the uniqueness of outdoor greenfield music festivals; and the varied and shifting socio-cultural roles of outdoor music festivals in the twenty-first century.

Dr Chris Anderton is the course Leader of BA Hons Music Promotion and BA Hons Music Management at Southampton Solent University.