New Books Network

Jonathan R. Wynn

Music/City

American Festivals and Placemaking in Austin, Nashville, and Newport

University of Chicago Press 2015

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in MusicNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network January 5, 2018 Michael O. Johnston

A city in its original state is arbitrary and has no meaning. The act of placemaking is a multifaceted process in the planning, designing,...

A city in its original state is arbitrary and has no meaning. The act of placemaking is a multifaceted process in the planning, designing, and management of public spaces. The social construction of meaning is a process that capitalizes on the assets, inspiration, and potential of a public space. This meaning is constructed from the social and emotional sentiments that people evoke from the city. The structural and physical aspects of the city are less important. Jonathan R. Wynn, the author of Music/City: American Festivals and Placemaking in Austin, Nashville, and Newport (University of Chicago, 2015) and my guest for this episode, studied the process of placemaking through observing major music festivals for the cities of Austin, Texas; Nashville, Texas; and Newport, Rhode Island. In our interview, we discuss how this study was shaped from his past study on tour guides and how community members serve as major contributors to placemaking. Wynn also shares his thoughts on the current climate of music festivals in the United States compared to Canada.

Jonathan R. Wynn, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Undergraduate Program Director at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Dr. Wynn is an urban sociologist who published The Tour Guide: Walking and Talking New York and regularly contributes to the Everyday Sociology blog. He is currently working on a project about hospitals as a central hub for urban communities.


Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. He earned his doctoral degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Walden University. His most recent paper, to be presented at the upcoming American Society for Environmental History conference, is titled “Down Lovers Lane: A Brief History of Necking in Cars.” You can learn more about Dr. Johnston’s work here.