From the early days of hippie counter-culture, music festivals have been an important part of the British summer. Today they are commercialised offerings without the counter-cultural discourse of earlier times. Drawing on participant observation, interviews and focus groups conducted at a rock festival and a smaller boutique festival, the paper examines how their design, organisation and management are co-created with participants to produce authentic experiences. The paper contributes to research on authenticity in tourism by examining how authenticity emerges and is experienced in such co-created commercial settings. It presents the importance that the socio-spatial plays in authenticity experiences and how socio-spatial experience and engagement can also be recognised as a form of aura.
- Music festivals