The aim of this study is to better understand the individual construction of the experience of liveness at pop music concerts and to add knowledge to the field of measuring audience experience in performing arts. The study is based on a mixed-methods methodology, designed to overcome the common difficulties related to researching visitor experiences of live music, and consists of a three-phase interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), made up of a pre-experience questionnaire, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), and participant observation during the experience and a post-experience interview. Based on the outcomes of the study, three main conclusions can be drawn: (1) the construction of the concert experience consists mainly of the interplay between the artist, the individual visitor, and his/her social company; the elements of collectiveness and the physical setting play a less decisive role in the concertgoer’s construction of the experience by our participants; (2) participating concertgoers use three (interconnected) narratives through which they construct their experience; and (3) the concept of absolute liveness is key to the construction of the concert experience, implying that concerts in physical co-presence have a strong distinctive value compared to mediated concerts.
Constructing the Live Experience at Pop Music Concerts: A Phenomenological, Multi-method Study of Concertgoers
Martijn Mulder, Erik Hitters; Constructing the Live Experience at Pop Music Concerts: A Phenomenological, Multi-method Study of Concertgoers. Music Perception 1 September 2023; 41 (1): 36–58. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/mp.2023.41.1.36
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