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May 10, 2020 66 min

Sean Steele is a PhD Candidate in the Humanities at York University (Toronto). He holds a diploma in music from Vancouver Island University, a BA in Philosophy and History from Concordia University, and an MA in the Humanities from York. Sean explores intersections between music, religion and popular culture, with a focus on popular music subcultures as alternative spiritual communities.

Through interview material and personal reflection, Sean investigates the extent to which Come Together can be viewed as a site of sacred-secular sonic space. Drawing on Victor Turner's concepts of liminality and communitas, Mikhail Bahktin on festivals, and Hakim Bey's Temporary Autonomous Zones, Sean explores the ways in which Come Together provides re-enchanted space for participants to experiment with non-ordinary patterns of behaviour and experiences that some describe as spiritual and/or sacred. Come Together forms a central node of a vibrant Canadian music scene, and as Sean discovers, the festival is fundamental to forms of personal and collective identity for many who gather twice a year to sing, dance and celebrate.

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