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  • How Music Festival Organisers in Rotterdam Deal with Diversity

    Britt Swartjes, Pauwke Berkers

    Chapter from the book: Smith, A et al. 2022. Festivals and the City: The Contested Geographies of Urban Events.


    Music festivals have the potential to connect people, foster tolerance and are therefore often perceived as inclusive spaces. At the same time, previous research has shown that festival spaces can be exclusionary spaces, where social inequalities are aggravated. While festivals have dynamics of their own, they are organised on the basis of a specific vision (mission statement) which translates into the programming, staffing, organization and marketing of a festival. Festival organisers play an important role in the creation of festival spaces and the mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. For positive encounters to occur within festivals and for people to share in the positive atmosphere of the festival, they must be planned and managed. This chapter therefore aims to explore to what extent and how music festival organisers deal with diversity in their everyday practices. We therefore investigate 1) discussing diversity: what meaning do festival organisers attach to the concept of diversity; 2) organising diversity: how they deal with diversity throughout the festival organisation process, and 3) implementing diversity: the difficulties and tensions perceived in making diverse festivals. This chapter is based on a study of ten music festivals in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This city is often perceived as a festival city and a ‘superdiverse’ city, making it the perfect case to study dynamics of inclusion and exclusion as perceived by music festival organisers.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Swartjes B. & Berkers P. 2022. How Music Festival Organisers in Rotterdam Deal with Diversity. In: Smith, A et al (eds.), Festivals and the City. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book64.f

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    Published on Aug. 23, 2022