Springsteen fans, #bruceleeds, and the tweeting of locality
Keywords:Audience, European fans, Fan community, Information ecologies, Music audience, Twitter
This article presents a case study of one Springsteen-affiliated hashtag, #bruceleeds, which emerged from the Springsteen fan community to organize tweets about Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band's July 24, 2013, concert at First Direct Arena in Leeds, England. A grounded theory analysis of #bruceleeds tweets from before the start of the Leeds concert shows significant interaction among fans and local businesses. By using the concert-specific hashtag #bruceleeds, fans and others who used the hashtag co-create an emerging concert experience grounded in a physical space. Drawing on theories on social interactions, classification systems, and mapping, I suggest that the #bruceleeds hashtag facilitates the metaphorical representation of a physical space—in this case, Leeds, England—and the emergence of a complex system sharing features of an information ecology consisting of fans, local businesses, civic organizations, and the technologies they use.
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