Jacqueline Anderson (University of Huddersfield, UK)


This paper attempts to delineate the identity, affect and epistemology within an autoethnographic framework to shed light on beliefs, identity and experience within the evolving UK Psychedelic trance community from the participant’s perspective and in particular to identify the characteristics of the North Wales Psychedelic Trance community.  A critical reflexivity and sensitivity will be employed in studying often taboo, implicit insider knowledge in an underground EDM scene. 

Psychedelic trance is a form of electronic dance music that has a comprehensive, global and evolving psychedelic culture alongside it that would benefit from greater academic understanding.  In a splintered, fractured society there is a growing sense of dislocation and a lack of belongings whose restoration could benefit all cultures.  This research will investigate beliefs, identity and experiences of participants within current themes such as cosmopolitanism, global and local aesthetics, spirituality and the individual and collective journey as well as ascertaining the possible uniqueness at the heart of Welsh Psytrance.

There is little written about UK or Welsh Psytrance music culture systematically at a local country level as analysis tends to be about global events or scenes that are seen as temporary autonomous zones and their influence on local culture.  Graham St John indicates it may be too complex task to undertake but it is believed, with the right theoretical framework and methodology, it is achievable.

This current, emic research provides an academic framework of studying the cultural phenomena within UK and Welsh Psyculture with an ethnographic ground up approach from the dancers/participants’ perspective.  This will involve the researcher undertaking a literature review, autoethnography, reflexive journals, participant observation, focus groups, visual text analysis and one to one interviews between Dec 2019 and May 2020 benefitting from the researcher’s long term involvement within the scene from a thematic perspective.