European Music Festivals, Public Spaces and Cultural Diversity

This project asserts that music festivals should be treated seriously as sites for representing, contesting, and realising social values in moments of diverse cross-cultural encounter and social dialogue. Music has powerful communicative properties and music festivals have the potential to connect people and foster intercultural dialogue, mutual understanding and tolerance.
Music festivals are public spaces of social recognition and representation, making them ideal sites for investigating the relations between culture and integration and for studying encounters with cultural diversities.  

Working collaboratively with the support of local and regional partners in each of our researchsites, this project’s main challenge is to understand the coordination, representation and negotiation of cultural diversities in the context of a comparative study of European music festival spaces. Accordingly, the project uses the site of the music festival in different national and local settings to address a larger question that links the cultural value of popular arts and music, cultural consumption, and encounters in social spaces to questions of civil society and (trans)national solidarities. Our overarching goal is to understand the extent to which and ways that festivalisation plays a significant role in the process of a European-wide renegotiation of cultural diversity and belonging in public spaces. This project has at its heart three significant research questions (RQs) that link popular arts, the production of culture, and cultural consumption to critical questions about social solidarities and social inclusion:

  • How do music festivals produce a social space where histories, identities, and publics are seen and heard?

  • How are cultural encounters consumed and understood in the context of music festival spaces?
  • In what ways can music festivals work to promote social inclusion?


  • dr. (Pauwke) PPL Berkers

    dr. (Pauwke) PPL Berkers

    Pauwke Berkers was born - earlier than expected - on December 6, 1977, the year that punk exploded. Unwilling to leave the beautiful province of Noord Brabant,…


  • Humanities in the European Research Area


  • European festivals Association

  • British Arts Festivals Association

  • Rotterdam Festivals

  • Rotterdamse Raad voor Kunst en Cultuur

  • Association of Irish Festival Events

  • Dansklive

  • Krakowskie Biuro Festiwalowe