This research was conducted by Martijn Mulder and Erik Hitters at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands


This paper was able to identify six distinct motivations for attending live music – either at festivals or concerts. The first and strongest motivational component was 'togetherness' (including socialising, dancing, singing along, etc.). 'Escapism' was the second relatively strong component. The third was labelled 'discovery' (seeking new experiences, etc.). The fourth motivation was 'being there' (where the status of attendees is raised by being in the same space as the artist). The fifth component was 'uniqueness' (live music's unpredictability and once-in-a-lifetime feel). The sixth motivational component was 'music specific' and was related to the artist and their repertoire. People visited festivals for social and personal reasons – to hang out with others and discover new experiences. They predominantly visited concerts for artistic reasons and the uniqueness of the live experience of a specific artist or show.

The data came from a survey of 1,131 Dutch people who had attended a live music event in the last year

‘The market for pop music concerts and the market for festivals are regularly approached as two separate markets, despite the fact that they operate in the same overall market’. They rely on the same supply of artists and target similar audience groups.

The pandemic is likely to have increased people’s appetite for live music

The closure of venues and cancellation of festivals highlighted the way in which motivational components that emphasise the need for physical co-presence (togetherness, being there, escapism, etc.) could not be simply replicated with online events or recorded music.

Title Visiting pop concerts and festivals: Measuring the value of an integrated live music motivation scale
Author(s) Mulder, M. & Hitters, E.
Publication date 2021
Source Cultural Trends, Vol 30, Iss. 4, pp. 355-375
Open Access Link
Author email