Rebel Fans: Women and Music Culture in the 1960s

Nicolette Rohr
UC Riverside

Popular music was integral to the 1960s and to the lives of young people who, Woodstock-kids, bought records, listened to the radio, went to concerts, joined fan clubs, and forged communities around music. As fans, many women claimed music as a terrain of cultural rebellion and fandom as a means of challenging gender conventions in families, relationships, dress, behavior, and public spaces. These fans disrupted the gendered expectations of the era. Through examinations of women in the folk revival, Beatlemania, rock and pop scenes and music festivals, this project explored women’s experiences as fans and the meanings those experiences held in the context of the 1960s, tracing the ways in which fandom both reflected and shaped many of the decade’s crucial developments by and for women. Funding was sought to travel to the museum at Bethel Woods for research on Woodstock and the public history of this subject.