Building a Heavy Metal World

Cultural Entrepreneurship in the Polish People’s Republic


  • Dominic Athanassiou
  • George Musgrave University of Westminster/Goldsmiths (University of London)



cultural entrepreneurship; heavy metal; music industry; counterculture; social capital


This paper explores how cultural entrepreneurs built a ‘heavy metal world’ in the Polish People’s Republic (PRL), focussing on the years 1980-89. By combining historical analysis with primary research to examine how both fans and artists alike acted together to overcome shortages, scarcity and repression, this paper supports definitions of cultural entrepreneurship which go beyond an economic orientation, and acts as case study to highlight the often uneasy co-existence between states and cultural production.

Author Biographies

Dominic Athanassiou

Dominic Athanassiou established music review website, Metal Recusants, in 2011, an international journalistic platform with a reach of over 5,000 unique visitors per month and contributors from Europe and the Americas. While building his international network, Dominic worked as a freelance music publicist for artists and record labels, with a focus on promoting the Polish metal scene. He works in the music and tech public relations space, specialising in both trade and consumer projects.   Dominic holds an MA in Music Business Management from the University of Westminster.

George Musgrave, University of Westminster/Goldsmiths (University of London)

Dr. George Musgrave is a lecturer based at both the University of Westminster in the Department of Music, and Goldsmiths (University of London) in the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE). His primary research interest is mental health and the music industry, but has also published work on wellbeing in the gig economy, cultural intermediation, and autoethnographic practice. He is also a musician signed to Sony/EMI/ATV.




How to Cite

Athanassiou, D., & Musgrave, G. (2021). Building a Heavy Metal World: Cultural Entrepreneurship in the Polish People’s Republic. Artivate: A Journal of Entrepreneurship in the Arts, 10(1).