The Arena Concert: Music, Media and Mass Entertainment is the first sustained engagement with what might said to be - in its melding of concert and gathering, in its evolving relationship with digital and social media, in its delivery of event, experience, technology and star - the art form of the 21st century.
This volume offers interviews with key designers, discussions of the practicalities of mounting arena concerts, mixing and performing live to a mass audience, recollections of the giants of late twentieth century music in performance, and critiques of latter-day pretenders to the throne. The authors track the evolution of the arena concert, consider design and architecture, celebrity and fashion, and turn to feminism, ethnographic research, and ideas of humour, liveness and authenticity, in order to explore and frame the arena concert.
The arena concert becomes the “real time” centre of a global digital network, and the gig-goer pays not only for an immersion in (and, indeed, role in) its spectacular nature, but also for a close encounter with the performers, in this contained and exalted space. The spectacular nature of the arena concert raises challenges that have yet to be fully technologically overcome, and has given rise to a reinvention of what live music actually means.