This paper examines the concept of community in the context of U2’s ‘360°’ tour (2009–2011). It contributes to leisure studies by offering a detailed insight into the production of, sense of belonging and resistance to a community in relation to a rock music event. Despite a growing body of academic research focusing on U2, understanding of their live concerts is lacking. The originality of this research lies in the notion that although the communal experience of attending U2’s concerts is episodic, due to the periodic and temporary nature of their tours, the sense of belonging to U2’s community simmers continually online. Furthermore, it argues that U2 intentionally exploit the notion of community in order to inspire their audience and gain their support for the various socio-political campaigns they promote. The paper draws on online research of selected U2-related websites, in-depth semi-structured interviews with fans, an email interview with U2’s show director, and content analysis of documentary material as part of a wider project examining rock music events as contemporary spectacle.
- collective effervescence