Music Festival: Meaning, Types and Functions


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Music is a very influential instrument that impacts many human behaviours and pursuits. Research undertaken by Hallam & MacDonald (2013) and MacDonald, Hargreaves & Miell (2009) has identified that it is powerful at both a social and personal level. At a social level it enables communication, encourages shared emotional responses and supports the growth of group identity. Hallam & MacDonald (2013) suggest that it is powerful on an individual level because it can encourage multiple responses –  psychological, mood, emotional, cognitive and behaviour. Music brings a number of human dimensions together in a holistic way to exhibit expressions and trigger emotions.

Music Festivals are emerging as a fast-growing sector of the tourism and leisure industry and can have a significant impact on the host communities

Music Festival: Meaning, Types and Functions

Meaning of music festival

music festival is a festival oriented towards music that is sometimes presented with a theme such as musical genre, nationality, locality of musicians, or holiday. They are commonly held outdoors and are often inclusive of other attractions such as food and merchandise vending, performance art, and social activities. Many festivals are annual or repeat at some other interval. Some festivals are organized as for-profit concerts and others are benefits for a specific cause. Another type of music festival is the educative type, organized annually in local communities, regionally, or nationally, for the benefit of amateur musicians of all ages and grades of achievement.”

Music festival, usually a series of performances at a particular place and inspired by a unifying theme, such as national music, modern music, or the promotion of a prominent composer’s works. It may also take the form of a competition for performers or composers.

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  • Old-time music festivals‎
  • Opera festivals‎
  • Pipe organ festivals‎
  • Pop music festivals‎
  • Pow wows‎
  • Punk rock festivals‎
  • Celtic music festivals‎
  • Carnatic classical music festivals‎
  •   Chamber music festivals‎
  •  Choral festivals‎
  •   Circuit parties‎
  •  Classical music festivals‎
  • Classical music festivals in Scotland‎
  • Contemporary classical music festivals‎
  • Country music festivals‎


  • Music festivals are often seen as the key drivers of cities economy, and hence there is an increasing interest in the numerous benefits and costs associated with hosting them. The local governments and event organizers usually focus on the economic benefits, but the social impacts may have an even more profound effect upon the quality of life of local community.
  • Festivals often serve to fulfill specific communal purposes, especially in regard to commemoration or thanking to the gods and goddesses. Celebrations offer a sense of belonging for religious, social, or geographical groups, contributing to group cohesiveness.
  • They may also provide entertainment, which was particularly important to local communities before the advent of mass-produced entertainment.
  • Festivals that focus on cultural or ethnic topics also seek to inform community members of their traditions; the involvement of elders sharing stories and experience provides a means for unity among families.
  • Music festivals have been constituted as vehicles for reliving, experiencing, contributing and exploring the rich cultural space that the industry offers.


Music festivals raise awareness and encourage a more effective use of community resources and expertise, and provide opportunities for training and development in a variety of skills for locals, hence contributing to their well- being. Festivals therefore have a positive impact on a community’s quality of life by providing an opportunity to escape from daily routines and to socialize with family and friends within the larger community.

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Duffy, M. (2000) Lines of drift: Festival participation and performing a sense of place, Popular Music, 19 (1), pp. 51 – 64.

For complete project material - call us with 07068634102/09019310829

Edmondson, J. (2013) Music in American Life: An encyclopedia of the songs, styles stars and stories that shaped our culture. USA: ABC-CLIO.

Gibson, C. and Connell, J. (2012). Music Festivals and Regional Development in Australia. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited

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