The Sound of Düsseldorf city walk

Authenticity in real-life and virtual implementations of music heritage tourism


  • Giacomo Bottà University of Helsinki Author



COVID-19, Düsseldorf, music tourism, music walk, music heritage


This article explores and contextualizes the in-person and remote implementation of The Sound of Düsseldorf city walk, before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Music tourism and authenticity in the music walk, and its temporary activation of places via performance, storytelling and sounds, are discussed. The article also focuses on the opportunities offered by the digital implementation of the tour and how successful the attempt to mediate local heritage to virtual tourists can be. On one hand, it is crucial to refer to how this tour came to be in terms of local music history and where it is situated in relation to Düsseldorf’s development from retail industry and high art towards the discovery of the cultural and economic potentials of its own popular music heritage. On the other hand, it is interesting to reveal what can be learned from this tour and its implementation in relation to the future of music tourism. The conclusion reflects on how music heritage exists in a cultural ecosystem, based around a strong link between materiality, music and authenticity and how this might change in the post-pandemic future.

Author Biography

  • Giacomo Bottà, University of Helsinki

    Giacomo Bottà is a researcher at the Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki, within the JustDe Academy of Finland project. He is also a member of Urbaria, the Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies. He edited Nocturnes: Popular Music and the Night (with Geoff Stahl, Palgrave, 2018) and is the author of Deindustrialisation and Popular Music (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020).


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How to Cite

Bottà, G. . (2021). The Sound of Düsseldorf city walk: Authenticity in real-life and virtual implementations of music heritage tourism. Popular Music History, 14(1), 9–27.