"There were only friendly people and love in the air"; fans, tourism and the Eurovision Song Contest

Linden, Sara and Linden, Henrik. 2018. "There were only friendly people and love in the air"; fans, tourism and the Eurovision Song Contest. In: Christine Lundberg and Vassilios Ziakas, eds. Routledge Handbook of Popular Culture and Tourism. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781138678354 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter will give some insight into the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) as an event that attracts a particular group of tourists – fans. Fan tourism is a growing field and the travel industries are increasingly viewing fans as a key market segment. Visit London, for example, has built a whole marketing campaign around fans and fan tourism – “Fans of London” (Visit London, 2017) – and VisitBritain encourages fans of Britain to post pictures and comments on social media as part of the global #OMGB (“Oh My GREAT Britain”) campaign (VisitBritain, 2017). As the concept of the fan has become more inclusive it has also entered into the mainstream consciousness – we can now be fans of “almost anything” (Guerrier, 2015). Although being a fan may still be “fraught with baggage from historical and contemporary media representations” (Stanfill, 2013, p. 17) – and fans are sometimes viewed as a threat to the dominant social order (Jensen, 1992; Hills, 2002; Sandvoss, 2005; Jenkins, 2008; Duffett, 2013) – the broadening of the fan concept has placed particular emphasis on fans as customers and, as such, they are attractive for businesses (Linden & Linden, 2017). In fact, in the experience economy, or consumer society, where subcultures are increasingly difficult to identify, it is instead normal to be a fan. So, while fans were previously viewed with suspicion, being a fan can now enhance one’s status and increase one’s social and cultural capital not only within the fandom, but beyond it too. Fans experience things, and after all, experiences are what we are all after.

Item Type:

Book Section

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute for Cultural and Creative Entrepreneurship (ICCE)


10 October 2017Accepted
27 June 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

05 Nov 2018 15:34

Last Modified:

27 Dec 2019 02:26



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