“Almost everyone who has commented on electronic media, whether as casual observer or as scholar, whether in praise or in condemnation, has noted the ability of electronic media to bypass former limitations to communication. Electronic media have changed the significance of space, time and physical barriers as communication variables” (Meyrowitz 1985, p. 13).
When we consider Meyrowitz’s statement above, it isn’t hard to acknowledge the amount of gravity we place on our own media usage. Our own engagement in the media has seen us almost always forget the significance of space, time and physical barriers, as it has become such an ordinary part of our lives. The saturation that our lives have with online participation and our own ‘need’ to be present online quite often overlaps with real-life social situations as it has become a part of our cultural norm.
Since our use of media has become a cultural norm in social situations, an area of research that I am interested in concerns its application in music-focused events. In regards to music festivals, Roxy Robinson (2015 p. 52) states that festival coverage in the media is a major anchoring point in its own popularisation. Hence it is obvious that festivalgoers nowadays will not only see the promotion of the event via social media, but also help in its promotion. Therefore my research will hope to explore individuals’ own experience of media usage in live music contexts to paint a picture of an extremely social, publicised and media-promoted event. Music festivals and concerts are a highly marketable event for younger adults; hence I believe this will produce an interesting exploration of how it is marketed through media platforms and how festivalgoers participate in its promotion.
In addition to exploring the marketing and promotion side of live music events, I hope to unpack the presence of individuals online while in attendance of these events. An excerpt from music blog site Eventbrite (2017) suggests that across all social media platforms, Facebook is the most popular social app used at a festival followed by Instagram and Snapchat. Furthermore, another study (Kunz 2014) conducted by the same organisation also stated that the main driving force behind the popularity of music festivals are millennials, mostly due to their high engagement in social media before, during and after the music event. Hence, it isn’t surprising that roughly 75% of music festival posts found on social media come from the 17-34 year age group (Kunz 2014).
In order to collect research surrounding this issue, I believe releasing a survey with both quantitative and qualitative questions will be sufficient. However, I am also considering the incorporation of individual interviews as well in order to gain more personalised details from their experience in attending a music event. Furthermore I am hoping to attain participants at university, as again, the popularity of music events in this age group is relevant.
Overall through this research, my objective is to provide an insight into the different media platforms, different places and different individuals who are all ‘present’ for the same type of occasion. Through an analysis of music event promotion and marketing I hope to outline the influence and immediate impact of direct information available via social media. In addition to this, I hope that through the surveys and/or interviews that I am able to see personal uses and attitudes towards using social media and why it can be either a favourable or unfavourable aspect of the music experience.
Eventbrite, 2017, ‘Hardcore Festies: The Driving Force Behind Today’s Growth in Music Festivals,’ viewed August 18th <https://www.eventbrite.com/blog/academy/hardcore-festies-most-valuable-fan-driving-todays-growth-in-music-festivals/?utm_medium=blog&utm_source=blogpost&utm_content=TLreport&utm_campaign=2016q3music-fest>
Kunz M, 2014, ‘The Tech Connection to the Rising Popularity of Music Festivals,’ PSFK, viewed August 18th < https://www.psfk.com/2014/09/the-tech-connection-to-the-rising-popularity-of-music-festivals.html>
Meyrowitz J, 1985, ‘No Sense of Place: The Impact of Electronic Media on Social Behavior,’ Oxford University Press, USA, p. 13
Robinson R, 2015, ‘Music Festivals and the Politics of Participation,’ Routledge Publishing, New York, USA, p. 52