Carnivalising Pop: Music Festival Cultures Symposium

Friday 13 June 2014 - Friday 13 June 2014
Venue: Council Chamber, The Old Fire Station, University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT
Event Type: Conferences; Public Lectures; Open Days/Student Events


Woodstock. Glastonbury. Burning Man…popular music festivals are one of the strikingly successful features of seasonal popular cultural consumption for young people and older generations of enthusiasts. Despite the annual declaration of the ‘death of festival’, a dramatic rise in the number of music festivals in the UK and around the world has been evident as festivals become a pivotal economic driver in the popular music industry.

This event has been organised to mark the start of the summer festival season. The purpose of the symposium is to discuss and explore the significance of music festival cultures. In part, the event presents work in progress from the forthcoming collection The Pop Festival: History, Music, Media, Culture (McKay ed., Bloomsbury, 2015).

In 2010, there were over 700 music festivals in Britain alone, and it is estimated that three million people attend music festivals a year. Today’s festivals range from the massive to community and ‘boutique’ events.

These events have become a key feature of the contemporary music industry’s commercial model, and one of major interest to young people as festival-goers themselves and as students. 

The day will be of interest across disciplines, from Popular Music, Media and Cultural Studies, Performance, Film, History, Sociology, American Studies, Business, Tourism and Leisure, Organisation Studies. And it will be of interest to festival organisers and festival-goers, too, as well as music media.

Registration and further information

Advance registration is essential, so please contact Dr Deborah Woodman, conference administrator, on +44 (0)161 295 5876, or by emailing, for all enquiries. 

13 June 2014 10:00am – 5:30pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The Old Fire Station, University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT.

Registration from 9:30am for a 10:00am start.

This is a free event, as part of the AHRC Connected Communities Programme. It is organised by Professor George McKay, Connected Communities Leadership Fellow, who can be contacted on

Further information is available on Professor McKay’s website