My research addresses the concept, process and phenomenon of music events as spectacle, using U2’s recent ‘360° tour’ to develop a better understanding of the concept of spectacle, the process of spectacularisation and its political implications in the context of rock music events. A number of gaps in the literature highlight an underdeveloped understanding of spectacle, events as spectacles, the production and consumption of music events as spectacles, the process of spectacularisation and concept and development of live music events. The project will address these gaps in knowledge and will contribute to empirical and theoretical understanding of the spectacle, process of spectacularisation and relationship between audience and rock music event as spectacle in an emerging area of the sociology of events. This will be achieved through the following aim and objectives.
To investigate the conceptual and phenomenological complexity of the “spectacle” in the context of rock music events with particular reference to the spectacularisation process and the contribution of spectators to this process.
1. To establish an appropriate epistemological framework for understanding the theory and practice of spectacle in the event context, drawing
on specific concepts such as spectacle, culture, power, audiences, structure and agency.
2. To identify key aspects of the spectacle and the political agenda of U2 concerts.
3. To analyse the spectacularisation process of rock music events focusing upon U2.
4. To examine the contribution of spectators and fans to the construction of the spectacle.
5. To contribute to wider academic i.e. both theoretical and empirical understanding of the concept of spectacle and the relationship between
music, politics and audiences within the event context.