This paper proposes a framework for analyzing and understanding communal centered consumption based on the concept of ‘theater’. The focus of attention is the Gothic community, a consumer tribe that may be described as extraordinary and spectacular. Goths are also a group that has associations with the ‘dark’ side and in particular with the vampire. We draw on a longitudinal grounded theory study conducted at the bi-annual Whitby Goth festival in the North East of England which involved participation, observation, interviews, and videographic data. We examine the co-constructed experience of the festival and propose an analytical framework based on the fundamental concepts of theater. We suggest that theatrical co-construction may be understood in terms of three components: theater as ‘transformation’, theater as ‘transcendence’, and theater as ‘temporality’. This perspective also provides a novel approach for festival event management.
- theater, festival, grounded theory, co-construction, goth