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Atmospheres rarely emerge spontaneously. It is by preparing, rehearsing and engaging that crowds become able to respond as one.
Different contexts reveal different levels of cooperation between hosts and consumers in creating atmospheres. Galleries, museums, and malls tend not to involve shared emotions between large groups. Instead, they rely on multisensory cues like music and smell to stimulate visitors’ feelings and emotions.
With music and sports, fans often want to create atmospheres themselves, and attempts to “pump” an atmosphere can be counterproductive. In the Premier League, for example, bright lights, pyrotechnics and loud music can drown out the sights and sounds of crowd revelry such as singing and chanting.
Crowds also often use long-standing social rituals passed down from generation to generation, such as the tradition of Liverpool supporters applauding the opposition keeper. Without cooperative fans, crowds can become dull and passive, causing atmospheres to turn off.
Following the loss of crowds due to COVID-19, the gradual reopening of entertainment venues portends hope for businesses as well as for people emerging from social restrictions. To get things back on track properly (and safely), our research suggests event planners should recognize and harness the power of fans to influence the success or failure of atmospheric events.
An open dialogue between fans and event planners is essential to encourage social practices that contribute to atmospheres. For example, the introduction of safe zones at some Premier League venues represents a positive example where requests from fans to stand more closely together have been heard. The atmospheres are likely to benefit from it.
Seasoned fans help create an atmosphere and the organizers should encourage these groups to come back again and again. The Glastonbury Festival retains its unique atmosphere in part thanks to engaged and regular ticket buyers. Social media platforms can be used to communicate traditions, contribute atmospheres and foster broad participation.
Finally, event planners should develop partnerships with nearby venues such as pubs and bars to ensure fans have space to warm up before events, initiating the creation of moods even before events. the opening of the doors of the stadiums and concert halls.
Of course, the need to balance security with the possibility of creating atmospheric events will remain an ongoing challenge. But the ability to share emotions with others will be a powerful draw for events that provide the electric atmospheres many of us now dream of.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
The authors do not work, consult, own any stock or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have not disclosed any relevant affiliation beyond their academic appointment.