Cummings, Joanne, Ian Woodward, and Andy Bennett. 2011. “Festival Spaces, Green Sensibilities, and Youth Culture.” In Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere, edited by Liana Georgi, Monica Sassatelli, and Gerard Delanty. New York: Routledge. Pp. 142-155.

Environmental interests within festival “greening” related back to Woodstock and hippie era’s ideological claims – “back to land” movements, “save the earth,” etc – intertwining youth, counterculture, and activist movements (Bennett 2001) . Ironically, festivals (even Woodstock) are site of extreme waste and environmental damage – (Bennett 2004), rendering the environmental ideologies of many festivals a popular myth (Street 2004). Despite espousal of “greening” ideologies, even the “most green” festivals often are participated in with a disregard for environmental ethics, requiring significant clean-up and restoration work. This is due to issues of festival planners not adequately planning for sustainability measures, the ineffective dissemination of knowledge regarding sustainability practices, and the lack of strategic alliance with major sustainability stakeholders.

Dowd et al 2004 – festivals as unique space to express self and experiment, experience different identities, see also Cummings 2008. In ways, festivals offer opportunities for reinvention of the self, as well as the flow of alternative discourses and practices (including countercultural and activist ideologies). “As sites for the diffusion of cultural ideas and goods, festivals become effective spaces for cultural exchange and learning as much as they are spaces of visceral celebration, performance and the carnivalesque. These types of learning can be cultural , in the sense of learning about new music, musical styles and aesthetic codes, or they can also relate to learning about social and environmental issues through informal processes, or via the design and infrastructure of the festival itself” (149).

Festivals as a site of cosmopolitan exchange – of food, ideas, style – but also practices and politics. Globalized concern about human rights, sustainability, interdependence offered as primary drives that can impact festival-goers; however, susceptible to the flawed narration and co-opted festival discourses that note that participation within the festival is “enough” – or the practices are suitable for the grand environmental demands that festivals make.

Szerszynski and Urry (2006) – festivals displays (within global sphere) as a way to emphasize cultural difference while simultaneously purporting global idealism, belonging. The sale of mundane, commodified items representative of cosmopolitan ideas may take on symbolic value – may instigate drive for larger social change by participants (Szerszynski and Urry 2002). That is, consumptive capitalism may aid in offering a sense of cosmopolitanism, as well as a reminder of the global impacts of consumption.


Bennett, A. 2001. Cultures of Popular Music. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Bennett, A. (ed.) 2004. Remembering Woodstock. Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate.

Cummings, J. 2008. “Trade Mark Registered: Sponsorship within the Australian Indie Music Festival Scene.” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies 22: 675-685.

Dowd, T.J., K. Liddle, and J. Nelson. 2004. Music Festivals as Scenes: Examples from “Serious Music, Womyn’s Music, and SkatePunk.” In A. Bennet and K. Kahn-Harris (eds.), Music Scenes: Local, Translocal and Virtual. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Street , J. 2004. “’This Is Your Woodstock:” Popular Memories and Political Myths.” In A. Bennett (ed.), Remembering Woodstock. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Szerszynski, B. and J. Urry. 2002. “Cultures of Cosmopolitanism.” Sociological Review 50(4): 461-481.

Szerszynski, B. and J. Urry. 2006. “Visuality, Mobility and the Cosmopolitan: Inhabiting the World from Afar.” The British Journal of Sociology 57(1): 113-131.


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