SEMICC – 6th session: «The Commercial Institutionalization of the Rock Club» with Fabian Holt (02/06/21)

Note on language: This session will be held in English but Q&A will be bilingual (Spanish/English)

The «seminario de estudios multidisciplinarios sobre industrias culturales y creativas» (SEMICC) is a research seminar hosted by the Centro de investigaciones sobre América del Norte (CISAN) at UNAM, and coordinated by Alejandro Mercado, Michaël Spanu and Yolanda Macías.


Fabian Holt (Roskilde University) is the author of Everyone Loves Live Music: A Theory of Performance Institutions. During this session of the seminar, we will discuss one part of the book related to the commercial institutionalization of the rock club, with a case study of New York City.

Publisher’s summary of the book:

For decades, millions of music fans have gathered every summer in parks and fields to hear their favorite bands at festivals such as Lollapalooza, Coachella, and Glastonbury. How did these and countless other festivals across the globe evolve into glamorous pop culture events, and how are they changing our relationship to music, leisure, and public culture? In Everyone Loves Live Music, Fabian Holt looks beyond the marketing hype to show how festivals and other institutions of musical performance have evolved in recent decades, as sites that were once meaningful sources of community and culture are increasingly subsumed by corporate giants.
Examining a diverse range of cases across Europe and the United States, Holt upends commonly-held ideas of live music and introduces a pioneering theory of performance institutions. He explores the fascinating history of the club and the festival in San Francisco and New York, as well as a number of European cities. This book also explores the social forces shaping live music as small, independent venues become corporatized and as festivals transform to promote mainstream Anglophone culture and its consumerist trappings. The book further provides insight into the broader relationship between culture and community in the twenty-first century. An engaging read for fans, industry professionals, and scholars alike, Everyone Loves Live Music reveals how our contemporary enthusiasm for live music is more fraught than we would like to think.

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

Practical information

Access via Zoom. The Zoom link to the session will be sent after filling this form:

Date and Time: 2 June 2021; 11AM (CDMX – UTC−5), 18PM (Paris time UTC+2)

Contact: Michaël Spanu (postdoc at CISAN-UNAM),

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