Recording industry groups IFPI and Music Canada have released a new report that sets out how cities worldwide can take simple steps to help develop their music economies. The Mastering of a Music City was launched at Midem and provides a simple checklist to help local authorities, businesses, community groups and the creative sector capitalise on the potential of music to build, grow and strengthen their cities.
It cites examples from 22 cities from all continents to explain what a music city is, why it is beneficial, and – critically – the most effective strategies and policies that can be implemented to nurture active music hubs.
Graham Henderson, President and CEO, Music Canada, said: “A vibrant music sector delivers an extensive array of social, cultural and economic benefits to its community; from job creation and retention to city identity and music tourism, to social cohesion, music can play an essential role.”
“Communities of any size, anywhere in the world, can assess the extent to which they have the essential ingredients for a Music City, and deploy the strategies successfully used in the likes of Nashville, Melbourne, Toronto, Berlin and other renowned Music Cities, in order to enhance or grow theirs. These strategies don’t necessarily require heavy investment - addressing red tape and establishing dialogue between leaders in the music community and city officials are inexpensive ways to grow music’s contributions.”
The Mastering of a Music City has identified recommendations in seven strategic areas that are an effective means to grow and strengthen a city’s music economy:
1. Music and musician-friendly policies, from licensing and liquor laws to parking and planning regulations to affordable housing and artist entrepreneur training.
2. The creation of Music Offices to help musicians and music businesses navigate the broad range of government policies and regulations that impact music.
3. The formulation of Music Advisory Boards to engage the broader music community in a collaborative way and to facilitate dialogue with city governments.
4. Engaging the broader music community to ensure the people most affected by music policies are involved and informed.
5. Access to spaces and places for artists to practice, record, and perform at every stage of their career
6. A focus on audience development, ensuring that there is an engaged and passionate audience for local musicians as well as international touring artists, now and into the future
7. Music tourism or the development of a Music City brand to leverage a thriving live music scene, rich music history, or large music festivals in order to reap the significant benefits associated with music.
In addition, multi-level government support for music, a broader city infrastructure conducive to the sector, music education programmes and efforts to highlight music history and identity are important.
The Mastering of a Music City was produced after more than 40 interviews with music leaders, city and tourism officials, international focus groups and secondary research. It cites best practices and case studies from 22 cities. IFPI’s affiliated national groups will share the report globally to assist municipal leaders and other stakeholders to develop local music strategies.