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Branding the City: Music Tourism and the European Capital of Culture Event

Krüger, S (2013) Branding the City: Music Tourism and the European Capital of Culture Event. In: Krüger, S and Trandafoiu, R, (eds.) Globalization of Musics in Transit: Music Migration and Tourismand. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-64007-7

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Music is connected with tourism in diverse ways. As an expression of culture, a form of intangible heritage, or a signifier of place, music provides an important and emotive narrative for tourists. This chapter explores music tourism by focusing on the role of music and place branding during Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture (ECOC) in 2008. Based on longitudinal multi-modal ethnographic research, the chapter shows how, under the overall theme of The World in One City, the ECOC event sought to promote international tourism and urban regeneration through culture by branding Liverpool as a world class multicultural city. This economic revival could be seen as a reason to celebrate globalization, especially since economic ambitions were officially underpinned by more democratic concerns with building community access and participation—a carnivalesque utopia. Yet at the same time, the ECOC event tended toward a particular place brand that reflected an ‘official culture’ aimed at the gazes of the world tourist, with emphasis being placed on ‘high art’ and Liverpool’s ‘white’ popular heritage. The chapters thus raises awareness of the tensions between more liberal views on using culture to enhance mutual respect and understanding versus views that regard culture as a means to bring about quantifiable economic benefits. The reality is that globalization and late capitalism have forced many cities to embark on city ‘imagieneering’ projects so as to use culture as a driver for income generation. Besides a carnivalesque utopia, Liverpool ECOC 2008 may thus also be seen as a brand product of a mixture between British neo-colonialism and forms of global capitalism and its dominant meanings and experiences.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General) > G149 Travel. Voyages and travels (General) > G154.9 Travel and state. Tourism
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Routledge
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2021 10:47
Last Modified: 24 Nov 2021 10:47
Editors: Krüger, S and Trandafoiu, R
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/533
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