'The pose is ... a stance': popular music and the cultural politics of festival in 1950s Britain

McKay, George ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7770-0502 (2015) 'The pose is ... a stance': popular music and the cultural politics of festival in 1950s Britain. In: The Pop Festival. Bloomsbury Academic, New York. ISBN 9781623569594

[thumbnail of Chapter_1_McKay_DEFINITIVE] Microsoft Word (Chapter_1_McKay_DEFINITIVE) - Draft Version
Download (93kB)


The aim of this chapter is to contribute to our understanding of the relation between popular music, festival and activism by focusing on a neglected but important area in festival history in Britain, what can arguably be seen as its originary decade, the 1950s. So I chart and interrogate the 1950s in Britain from the perspective of the rise of socio-cultural experimentation in the contexts of youth, some of the ‘new … old’ (Morgan 1998, 123) sonic landscapes of popular music, social practice and political engagement. I foreground the shifting cultures of the street, of public space, of this extraordinary period, when urgent and compelling questions of youth, race, colonialism and independence, migration, affluence, were being posed to the accompaniment of new soundtracks, and new forms of dress and dance. Some of the more important popular culture events where these features manifested, performed and celebrated themselves, produced what I see as a significant phenomenon: the youthful gathering of the festival, the surprising splash and clash of street culture (McKay 2007).

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: HERA/EUFP7 and AHRC funded.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1950s,beaulieu jazz festival,sidmouth folk festival,notting hill carnival,calypso,aldermaston,cnd
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Film, Television and Media
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2015 14:54
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 10:35
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/50889


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item