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Spatial Authenticity and Extraordinary Experiences: Music Festivals and the Everyday Nature of Tourism Destinations

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Travel Research
Issue number2
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)357-370
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date10/03/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Research taking into account the everyday nature of tourism destinations and its impact upon authenticity and attendees’ resulting extraordinary experiences is limited. Drawing upon a 3-year ethnography (including fieldnotes, photos/videos, artifact material) and interviews with festival attendees, we explore the interrelationships between authenticity and extraordinary experiences in the context of Primavera Sound music festival. Our emergent thematic categories—the festival’s indie music character, its urban and quotidian configuration, and the instrumental orientation of the festival experience—suggest the festival is firmly positioned within the structures of the indie music industry, while also being located within the confines of day-to-day urban life. Attendees seek to achieve a sense of spatial authenticity by engaging with the features of tourism destinations. We contribute to discussions about authenticity and extraordinary experiences by unpacking the everyday nature of tourism destinations, demonstrating that not all music festivals need to be “extraordinary” muddy camping events.