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Musical Ties That Bind: Nostalgia, Affect, and Heritage in Festival Narratives

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Symbolic Interaction

Published online on


Affective heritage embracement, a collective narrative of nostalgia, is identified at two popular music festivals. “MusicFest” embraces a tradition of “Red Dirt” country music through performance (music festival), whereas the “Walnut Valley Festival” embraces a bluegrass/folk musical heritage through performance and participation (musicians' festival). The symbolic importance of musical interaction is explored to highlight the experienced emotionality that leads to the affective ties that bind these otherwise temporary communities. This collective narrative reveals the various functions of nostalgia wherein collective sentiment both reflects and creates the perceived authentic experiences of festival attendees.