The ‘lonely raver’: music livestreams during COVID-19 as a hotline to collective consciousness?

Femke Vandenberg, Michael Berghman, Julian Schaap

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


This paper offers an explorative analysis of the online social practices of livestreamed concerts as one of the most popular cultural outlets during the COVID-19 imposed ‘lockdown’ in Europe. Ritual theory is used to investigate the potential of these virtual concerts in generating a collective consciousness, and the related feelings of social solidarity and resilience, specifically important in times of physical isolation. Through a thematic content analysis of the comments (n = 1501) posted during livestreamed techno concerts in the Netherlands, we find that both old and new ritual actions are used to form online communities. While these ritual activities mark participation and remind members of a previous collective feeling, the omission of visceral elements of a physical audience hampers the establishment of a renewed sense of social solidarity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Societies
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2020

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