Springsteen fans, #bruceleeds, and the tweeting of locality

  • Bill Wolff Rowan University
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.

Author Biography

Bill Wolff, Rowan University
I'm an Associate Professor of Writing Arts where I teaching classes and do work in the area of new media, fan studies, and visual rhetoric.