Exploring Hyper-Experiences: Performing the Fan at Germany 2006

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42 Citations (Scopus)


In the modern era, affluent western economies are increasingly marked by the development and use of cultural products (Ransome, 2005). Festivals and events are central aspects of a global cultural economy where material products and services merely facilitate the quest for experiences (Pine & Gilmore, 1999). This article investigates the phenomenon of the travelling sports fan through a case study of the Munich Fan Park experience at the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany. It highlights how nation states, cities and individuals are engaged in circuits of cultural consumption whereby ephemeral, ‘hyper-experiences’ are sought, technologically captured and virally circulated for their promised cultural cache and status value. Methodologically, the paper draws upon, and integrates, Foucauldian theory with observational and interview data collected during the Germany 2006 world football extravaganza. In focusing upon Brazil and Australian supporters, an analysis of the sports fan experience is uncovered as fans are tracked, observed and digitally captured along with ‘vox pop’ recordings inside and outside the formalised Fan Park space. The authors argue that in their organisation, the Fan Parks manufacture and accentuate intense dramatalogical experiences (Roche, 2000) within a predominantly disciplined set of spatial practices. Fan Parks provide a platform upon which hedonistic or ludic subjectivities are assumed, accepted and wilfully enacted. These spatially demarcated locations legitimate the subject position and performativity of the ‘fan’ (Blackshaw & Crabbe, 2004). However, through technological mediation, fan subjectivities can also be de-territorialised, breaking free from the guiding principles of disciplinary practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-198
JournalJournal of Sport Tourism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


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