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FESTIVITY AND SOCIABILITY: A STUDY OF A CELTIC MUSIC FESTIVAL

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This article centers on authenticity and social relations within a commodified Celtic music festival framework. The impact of the tourism commodification process upon environs and culture has generated a veritable plethora of studies, the precursor to this being MacCannell's theorization of the leisure class. In an attempt to explain the meaning and significance of social relations within a festival context, specific attention is paid to Maffesoli's theory of the neo-tribe and emotional community. Drawing upon empirical data from a questionnaire survey and in-depth interviews with festival producers and consumers of a Celtic music festival in Scotland, this article challenges Maffesoli's dismissal of the relevance of class grouping and suggests dimensions of the backstage region of festival social space: first, through participating in “real” culture in an intimate environment; second, by playing an instrument or singing; third, through the strengthening of social networks. It is argued that the tourism commodification process is resisted to attain authentic social relations through the backstage region of social space.
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Keywords: Authenticity; Festivals; Social relations

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Queen Margaret University College, Scotland

Publication date: 2005-01-01

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  • Tourism, Culture & Communication is international in its scope and will place no restrictions upon the range of cultural identities covered, other than the need to relate to tourism and hospitality. The Journal seeks to provide interdisciplinary perspectives in areas of interest that may branch away from traditionally recognized national and indigenous cultures, for example, cultural attitudes toward the management of tourists with disabilities, gender aspects of tourism, sport tourism, or age-specific tourism.
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