New Books Network

Fabian Holt

Everyone Loves Live Music

A Theory of Performance Institutions

University of Chicago Press 2020

Celebration StudiesNBN Special SeriesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in MusicNew Books in Performing ArtsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Sociology September 29, 2020 Emily Ruth Allen

In Everyone Loves Live Music: A Theory of Performance Institutions (University of Chicago Press), Fabian Holt shows how festivals and other institutions of musical...

In Everyone Loves Live Music: A Theory of Performance Institutions (University of Chicago Press), Fabian Holt shows how festivals and other institutions of musical performance have evolved in recent decades.

Adopting a critical approach, Holt upends commonly-held ideas of live music and introduces a theory of performance institutions. The two central institutions of popular music—the club and the festival—are analyzed within the broader history of music and cultural life in modernity, shedding new light on organized cultural life in capitalism, urban media cultures, and the role of festive events in society. Everyone Loves Live Music argues that while live music provides exciting experiences for many people, it also promotes a new ideology of music in neoliberal capitalism.

Dr. Fabian Holt is associate professor in the Department of Communication and Arts at Roskilde University. He is also the author of the book Genre in Popular Music, also published by the University of Chicago Press.


Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a Ph.D. candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations.