Beginnings

Beginnings

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The cardinal Do’s and Don’ts of blog writing dictate that I must be a) relatable, b) inspirational and c) positive. I’ve been living in Yorkshire for ten years, which makes ‘being positive’ a bit problematic. Not because Yorkshire is a shitty place or anything, but because complaining is a ritual tradition here. If you want to fit in you must complain, with appropriate levels of gusto and regularity, about approved topics ranging from your boss to the weather.

That said, it is difficult to feel anything but overwhelming positivity about this: My first blog post. This post and its home on this website are set up to promote my first (ok, second, but much more weighty and important), book. Now that I have a blog, do I really get to bang on about me, my experiences in life and everything I happen to find interesting?! Awesome.

That said, it is difficult to feel anything but overwhelming positivity about this: My first blog post. This post and its home on this website are set up to promote my first (ok, second, but much more weighty and important), book. Now that I have a blog, do I really get to bang on about me, my experiences in life and everything I happen to find interesting?! Awesome.

Music festivals book

My nearly fluorescent book jacket, showing the main stage crowd at Secret Garden Party

© Photo Credit Seb Barros

Roxy Robinson Beacons Festival

My first steps onto the site at Beacons Festival, where I worked from 2012-2014.

So I primarily want to encourage you to journey down the rabbit hole by reading my book, Music Festivals and the Politics of Participation, which is just about to be released by Ashgate Publishers. But it is my hope to also attract the attentions of likeminded individuals—that is, events nerds who are, underneath it all, slightly embarrassed at the fact that they aren’t rocket scientist nerds or lawyer nerds or cancer research nerds, and therefore live in constant need of life-affirming reassurance. People that are passionate about events research but have that niggling voice in their head that says, “being a scientist of festivals, or a researcher in events, well that’s just silly isn’t it?” Well, my friends, this website also exists in order to shout THIS ISN’T SILLY, and to convince myself of this in the process.

Roxy Robinson Author

In all seriousness, my book is the product of seven long years of research into what I call ‘festival culture’. This included a PhD at the School of Music, University of Leeds somewhere along the way. I did fieldwork at events, interviewed extensively, transcribed endlessly and wrote….. a lot. Almost every morning for nearly four years. I would love to martyr myself at this point by saying something clichéd about “blood, sweat and tears” in describing this process. But that would be a lie. It is certainly true that in most cases, writing is hard and boring. Yet it was an honor and a privilege to study a scene so vibrant and so full of colour, crowds, music and art—that also happened to be of personal interest to me.

PHD Music

Bigging up myself street-style with my home-girl Tenley Martin, who is studying for her PhD in Flamenco.

I spent seven wonderful years in self-directed research; immersing myself in a subject I had the personal freedom to choose. I did not have a mortgage or any children to worry about. I had the ability to completely lose myself in my PhD, and to complete it swiftly in the process (apparently 3 years and 8 months is swift). To all those juggling PhDs with babies, full time teaching jobs and other pressures, I salute you—for I had it easy in comparison.

I will never forget the very first instruction my (wonderful) PhD supervisor gave me in our first mentoring session: “spend the first year of your research reading widely and expanding your mind”. How many people get told by their boss to spend a whole year expanding their minds!? It goes against the Yorkshirian culture of Moaning, but the truth is, I’ve been incredibly lucky.

So, why research festivals? I can answer this with the contemporary trend that is the TOP FIVE LIST. But for that, you’ll have to wait for Blog Number Two: Inspirations. Until then…. X

Roxy PHD events management