Date of Original Version

Spring 2016



Abstract or Description

Music festivals comprise a wide but specific set of experiences, the good lumped with the bad, and the insignificant mingling with the impactful. The people who attend them come from diverse backgrounds, locations, and age groups. Nevertheless, music festivals have grown to be a widespread cultural phenomenon in the United States. In recent years the festival industry has experienced a boom in popularity, with events of all sizes cropping up across the country. Viewed as a microcosm, an examination of the temporary world of a festival gives insight into larger cultural trends and values. The following thesis seeks to unpack the music festival as an experience in an effort to determine significant elements and to analyze better the important role these festivals play in modern American culture


Advisor: Judith Schachter

Department of History

Embargo Date