Document Type

Journal Article


This article discusses the complex links between tourism, music and place. Music tourism is a rapidly expanding and diverse tourist niche, although rarely acknowledged by geographers or tourism scholars. The article discusses historical precedents, before sketching a typology of contemporary linkages between music, tourism and place, including museums and festivals, sites of birth and death and (musical) creation, and locations enshrined in lyrics. Prior research is reviewed and new approaches proposed based on an understanding of place as both sensuously experienced (constructed via a 'tourist ear'), and mediated by racializations of various sorts. Recognition of the contribution of music tourism to the cultural economy of cities is also emphasized. A diversity of methodologies is advocated for more comprehensive studies of the links between music, tourism and place. A case study of Memphis highlights such diversity. It demonstrates how music shapes tourist space both aurally and physically, how notions of racial and local identity are invoked, and how music tourism contributes to the building of new kinds of economic and cultural networks.