Young people and well-being beyond the metropolis

Anna de Jong

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Mega urban events have long been associated with enabling self-transformation and well-being. Yet, possibilities derived from large metropolitan events have focused on transformations and well-being that occur within the festival timeframe. While little is known about the ways return journeys to mega urban events are interwoven into everyday life. This paper examines rural young peoples' return journeys to mega urban events, exploring how both the journey and the liminal spacing of a mega urban event offers possibilities to reflect and re-conceptualise understandings of 'self', 'home' and 'well-being'. Drawing on Massey's (2005) idea of the progressive sense of place, the spatial politics of mega metropolitan festivals are re-conceptualised as relational, fluid and boundless. Attention remains on young people from beyond the metropolis because scholars have largely remained interested in the lives of young people who choose to leave, rather than the experiences of those who stay. Return journeys to large urban events are positioned as integral in sustaining a sense of 'well-being', enabling many young people to continue living beyond the metropolis. Insights are provided from qualitative data that explored participants before, during and after attendance at three large urban festivals in Australia; Summernats Car Festival, Big Day Out and Sydney Mardi Gras.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2013
EventAmerican Association of Geographers Annual Conference - Los Angeles , United States
Duration: 11 Apr 201314 Apr 2013


ConferenceAmerican Association of Geographers Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLos Angeles


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