Cities like Mumbai and Delhi may not fall in this category but there are several cities around the world where music playe a vital role in boosting the local economy and drives tourism. Perhaps, Goa and some parts of the North-East are the only regions in India where music is such an important part of the local culture.
On the other hand, in most global cities, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and musicians always look for ways to augment the role of music in their urban environments. Most cities around the world know the importance of getting big productions to shoot films locally; similarly, most cities known that branding a music city plays a critical role in attracting tourists and new residents to the city.
How Does a Music City Benefit the Local economy
Most cities that wish to become a successful music city have to bear the initial costs of providing adequate infrastructure for the music scene to develop. Once that is in place, a city’s economy is more likely to to grow.
Its a known fact that cities abroad have music as part of their educational programs, whereas in India most students have to learn music from private tutors. Whereas cities in foreign countries have realized that art is the a missing link in transforming low-income, low-performing schools into thriving educational centers, in India, only a select schools provide students with this opportunity.
A music scene has the potential to diversify and unite a community in ways that few other industries can.
Large music cities like Austin, New York and Los Angeles have also demonstrated that having a strong music scene can have an impact on the growth of the tech industry. Some of the world’s leading tech companies (that makes music gear) are based in/around New York and Los Angeles.
What Does a Successful Music City Has to Offer to Musicians?
Besides running a successful marketing campaign (one of the examples is of Austin, where labeling Austin “the live music capital of the world” proved to be a successful marketing tool), key music cities offers many more advantages to musicians.
- There are several music venues and spaces available for people to gather.
- Musicians get affordable spaces to perform
- The public is ready to pay for these performances (made possible through successful marketing strategy)
- There are more jobs/gigs/employment opportunities available for local artists / musicians
- Incentives for Entrepreneurs
Successful Music Cities Around the world
Here are some of the cities where you will find a vibrant (and lucrative) music scene.
Austin, Texas, US
Austin in Texas is full of clubs, bars, arenas and venues dedicated to music, every night of the week. Austin is also well-known for its outdoor music festivals (happens all over the city). The music industry is among the top contributors to the city’s economy.
Fondly known as ‘Music City’, Nashville is among the world’s foremost music cities. While Memphis had the blues and the soul, Nashville is known for presenting some of the world’s most acclaimed country music stars.
Besides the countless gigs that happens in the city, Nashville is also popular for hosting big music exhibitions/conferences.
Every year, music gives multi-billion boost to the local economy.
The music scene is mainly prioritized as a means to boost tourism.
Festivals, in particular, are a great way to garner revenue. The Bravalla Festival in Norrköping, Sweden, for instance, brings in around $15 million for the city.
Havana has a strong musical vibe (with influences from Africa and Spain) running throughout the city. Salman Khan has filmed a song in Havana.
Remember the song ‘We’re Going To Ibiza’ by VengaBoys? With countless beach bars, open-air clubs and live music venues, Ibiza is among the premier music cities in the world. Every summer (June to October) Ibiza presents a massive selection of DJs and live acts that offers a huge selection of tunes to electrify your summer.
Memphis, Tennessee (US)
Regarded as the home of soul and rock & roll, Memphis in Tennessee is where the career of music greats like Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Wilson Picket, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters, (and many more) were launched. Live music nights are commonplace in Memphis, and still to this day soul, blues and that sweet southern sound can be heard around every corner.
There was a time when Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Sound Garden ruled the airwaves, but today you can listen to a widerange of genres, thanks to the countless jazz cafes, rock arenas, classical orchestras and metal bands in the city.
Tokyo has a buzzing array of venues that plays all sorts of music appealing to a wide range of age groups and musical tastes. Besides the smaller venues, there are plenty of parks and arenas that regularly hold live concerts (Budokan Hall and Tokyo Dome being the biggest and the best.)
Many consider Berlin to be among Europe’s finest music capitals, where you can enjoy every kind of music – classical, jazz, techno, and more. You will be amazed to see the number of underground electro clubs, cool jazz cafes and crazy party nights that Berlin has to offer.
You name the kind of music you want to listen and New York will offer it to you. With so many Jazz cafes, blues bars, underground clubs, new wave joints, there’s never a dull day in the city that never sleeps.
Home to the Stones, the Beatles, and many more stars, London is where every new band wants to be (those who want to make it in the music business). London offers an eclectic mix of expensive clubs, traditional pubs, super-sized arenas (host to the biggest music acts in the world), has an array of music venues where there’s always a gig or a concert going on 24/7. London is undoubtedly at the heart of UK music.
With so many reasons to augment the music scene, more city governments are finding it valuable to establish music development offices locally so that they can better cultivate the role of music in their local economy.