Popular music venues on cruise ships as touristic spaces of engagement

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Publication details

Cashman, D 2013, 'Popular music venues on cruise ships as touristic spaces of engagement', International Journal of Event Management Research, vol. 7, no. 1-2, pp. 26-46.

Article available on Open Access


Musical venues encapsulate highly intense and memorable encounters for tourists, yet have received little academic attention. Tourists often visit a location specifically to engage in music such as a Broadway musical, an opera or rock performance or simply to visit places associated with music. In contrast to such land-based locations, cruise ships, marketed as the main destination of a cruise vacation, are entirely constructed geographies specifically designed to immerse visitors in a touristic experience which includes live musical performance. Venues for ship borne musical performances are physically constructed to encourage engagement between tourists and the ‘local’ cruise ship staff, directing the tourist gaze and creating memorable and ‘impactful’ performances. This study examines and categorises cruise ship musical venues on a range of cruise ships by physical layout, purpose and methods of ensuring tourist engagement. Each of the four designs used have different manners of encouraging interaction between performer and tourist. Such focus on designing musical spaces for tourism engagement can be applied to other constructed spaces for tourism experience.

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