Glasgow as a live-music city: an analysis of the "legendary" Apollo venue and its audience

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2010 marked the 25th anniversary of the closure of the "legendary" Glasgow Apollo. The reputation of venues such as the Apollo and the characteristics of its audience have helped to lay the foundations for Glasgow's status as a live-music city. This paper explores what, if anything, made this venue "legendary", and addresses how much of "Glasgow" and the "Glasgow audience" contributed towards this status. The discussion is located within the framework of the prevailing UK Live Music sector, and also focuses on locality and audiences from a historical perspective. A key element is an evaluation of the role played by the memories of those who attended these concerts (currently facilitated through a range of fora), and an examination of the extent to which factors such as generational identity and the quest for nostalgia have contributed towards the enhancement and intensity of memories surrounding the Apollo. Consideration is also given as to whether these memories represent a generational example of the "I Was There" syndrome, a process that, in this instance, may also reflect the current marginalisation of locality. Overall, the paper considers the extent to which the Apollo venue and the Glasgow audience are "unique".
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-621
Number of pages17
JournalSocial Semiotics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • live music
  • audience reputation
  • memories
  • legendary status
  • authentic venues
  • Glasgow


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