The characteristics of a Finnish metal fan: Comparative study on music festival attendees

Maarit Kinnunen, Antti Honkanen, Toni-Matti Karjalainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Metal is exceptionally popular and widely approved at all levels of Finnish society. But what are the Finnish metal fans like? Even though there are studies on how metal fans relate to the metal community and how they construct their identity, studies on metal festival audiences are scarce. Here, Finnish metal festival attendees are studied to find out how they differ from the participants of other popular music festivals in demographics, live music consumption and preferences in festival experiences. This is done using a mixed methods research approach. The most interesting finding concerns sex and self-perceived gender position. So far, female metal fans have been studied qualitatively, demonstrating how they represent and perceive themselves inside the male-dominant metal community. We present a new finding, using quantitative data, where both male and female metal fans consider themselves more masculine than the participants of other festivals. The importance of the community was confirmed. In a metal festival, there is a dual community effect: the festival community forms a temporary, open-minded enclave that is common for all the festivals. In a metal festival, the audience comprises also members of the more permanent metal community. A strong sense of community originates from the shared musical preference, demonstrated by a loyal festival attendance and a common symbol system. From the organizer’s point of view, metal festival fans are a grateful audience since they are loyal and earn more than other festival attendees, being willing to invest time and money for their fandom.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-236
Number of pages22
JournalMetal Music Studies
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • music festivals
  • heavy metal
  • festival experience
  • mixed methods research
  • gender
  • metal fans
  • metal festival fans
  • sense of community

Field of science

  • Tourism research

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