U2’s (2009–2011) ‘360°’ tour: A Source and Experience of Enchantment

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This paper examines the concept of enchantment in the context of U2’s (2009–2011) ‘360°’ tour. It contributes to leisure and sociology studies by offering a detailed insight into a rock music concert examining the sources and fans experiences
of enchantment. Furthermore, the paper offers a number of new insights into the concept of enchantment in the context of a rock music event. Despite increasing academic interest in event experiences, so far, little attention is given to the notion of enchantment in events generally, or in relation to rock concerts specifically. This adds to existing music event research arguing that U2 concerts (in)tend to produce an intense atmosphere and create a modern form of enchantment that is experienced physically and emotionally. Notwithstanding the commercial motivations of the tour, these experiences enable fans to engage in a ritual of decommercialization (Cova, B., Kozinets, R., & Shankar, A. (Eds.). (2007). (Eds.) Consumer Tribes. Routledge.: 10). Enchantment provides a useful concept to understand how fans experience, create meaning from, and contribute to the creation of a spectacle. U2’s concerts although highly regulated and choreographed provide an enchanting liminal space, which offer a sense of spontaneous communitas, collective joy and transcendent experiences, and increase fans’ awareness of certain socio-political issues. The paper draws on the findings of a wider project examining rock music events as contemporary spectacle. An ethnographic approach combined with detailed insider knowledge of U2, and their concerts helped to achieve an empathetic understanding of how individuals interpret and create meaning out of their experiences of U2’s concerts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Leisure
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2024


  • Enchantment
  • Atmosphere
  • Escape
  • Emotion
  • U2


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