Following the popularisation of dance music in the 1990s, and the consolidation of disc jockeys (DJs) as global stars, this article examines the attachment of music audiences to this decade by examining the popular flashback dance parties held in the Netherlands. By drawing on theories of cultural heritage, memory and nostalgia, this article explores 1990s-themed parties as spaces where music audiences construct cultural identities and engage with their musical memories. Based on in-depth interviews with audience members, DJs and organisers of dance events, this study examines the meaning of cultural memories and the manner in which nostalgia arises in specific sociocultural settings. The findings indicate two ways in which cultural memories take shape. At early-parties, DJs and audiences return to the roots of specific genres and try to preserve these sounds. Decade-parties offer an experience of reminiscence by loosely signifying the decade and its diverse mix of music styles and fashions.

cultural heritage, cultural memory, dance music, nostalgia, popular music,
ERMeCC - Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture
International Journal of Heritage Studies
Version of record first published: 21 Nov 2012. Authors version in RePub
This work was funded by the European Commission 7th Framework Programme; grant id fp7/217152 - Trans-national co-operation among National Contact Points for Socio-economic sciences and the Humanities (NET4SOCIETY)
Department of Media and Communication

van der Hoeven, A.J.C. (2014). Remembering the popular music of the 1990s: dance music and the cultural meanings of decade-based nostalgia. International Journal of Heritage Studies , 20(3), 316–330. doi:10.1080/13527258.2012.738334