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How Cities Benefit from Helping the Music Industry Grow

Updated: Mar 25, 2019

Music is a powerful means of connecting people. It bridges linguistic and cultural divides, and is a vehicle for identity and expression like no other. Collectively, the music ecosystem generates rich social, cultural and economic benefits. A recent report, The Mastering of a Music City, by the global music industry body, IFPI, and its affiliate Music Canada, seeks to inspire cities around the world to cultivate a vibrant music economy within their community and become true Music Cities.

The report provides a comprehensive framework of strategies and best practices to help cities – local authorities, businesses, community groups and the creative sector – tap into the power of music. It is a roadmap for municipalities of all sizes to reach their Music City goals, offering useful insights about how to build a stronger and more lively music community.

Once exclusively associated with Nashville, Tennessee (USA), the term “Music City” now describes communities that have - or are encouraging - the development of a vibrant music economy. Music Cities can deliver significant economic and employment paybacks beyond their long-acknowledged cultural and social benefits.

The report draws on the experiences of 22 cities on all continents and 40 in-depth interviews as well as two focus groups to identify the opportunities and challenges associated with implementing a Music City strategy. Among the interviewees were music association leaders, music entrepreneurs including publishers, promoters and artists, municipal employees, and experts in tourism investment and economic development. 

The study identifies five essential components of a successful Music City:

1. the presence of artists and musicians

2. a thriving music scene

3. available spaces and places for music

4. a receptive and engaged audience

5. and record labels and other music-related businesses.

Music Cities also benefit from multi-level government support for music, including a broader city infrastructure conducive to the sector’s development and the availability of effective music education programs.

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