From Hippies to Hipsters: Changing Expressions of Cultural Citizenship at Music Festivals

Student Author(s)

Hope Hancock

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Marissa Doshi

Document Type


Event Date



Music festivals continue to attract young citizens across the United States. As Ryan Moore suggests in Sells Like Teen Spirit, the music of the 1960s was embraced as a way of bringing change to the world. As music continues to change, it represents cultural shifts. Music has been, and will continue to be, a representation of shifting ideologies throughout the decades. This project compares Woodstock’s impact on youth culture with the impact of modern music festivals, like Coachella, on contemporary youth culture. Data analyzed includes news articles, social media, and archival material. Promotional materials will also be examined to see how audiences are targeted differently across the years and what this reveals about the purpose of music festivals. Do youth still engage in music festivals as a form of social protest? Are music festivals a platform for youth to participate in cultural citizenship? Or are modern music festivals merely a large business venture? These questions animate this project to reveal how music continues to be an outlet for today’s youth to engage with cultural citizenship. However, music festivals are no longer used as a platform for the kind of cultural citizenship that was prevalent at Woodstock. Instead, they have become a space for youth to engage in commercialized neoliberal forms of citizenship. This project will be presented through the use of a fully interactive and immersive digital timeline hosted on a Weebly site. The timeline will include a variety of media, including photographs, music, videos, and oral narratives.

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