The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between live bands and the music they play and aggression in barrooms catering to young, college-aged patrons. Twenty musicians representing 14 different cover bands playing in licensed drinking establishments throughout Northeast Pennsylvania were interviewed about their influence on the behaviors of bar patrons. Content analysis of completed interviews revealed several important findings. Most notably, each of the musicians interviewed in this study reported being able to control and manipulate patron behavior, not just through the music they play, but also through their stage presence, their physical appearance and attire, and the way they interact with patrons while on and away from the stage. While none of the musicians reported ever deliberately trying to push bar patrons towards aggression, most agreed that they had the power to do so if desired. Conversely, musicians identified themselves as potentially important agents of social control within bars. Implications for future research and policy are discussed.


Music, Barroom, Drinking Establishment, Aggression, Violence, Content Analysis

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




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