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IFPI and Music Canada big up the power of music cities

By | Published on Monday 8 June 2015


Global record industry trade group the IFPI teamed up with Music Canada on Friday to launch a report called ‘The Mastering Of A Music City’, which looks at how a strong local music industry can strengthen a city’s wider culture and economy, and how said city can encourage and enable a stronger music business community.

Previewed at the Music Cities conference in Brighton ahead of this year’s Great Escape, its authors say the report “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”.

Among the tips offered to anyone wanting to master a music city, are…

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.

So take note all cities. Launching the report, Music Canada boss Graham Henderson told reporters: “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”.

He went on: “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”.

Look out for a more in depth review of the report in the next edition of the CMU Trends Report, available to premium subscribers. Plus see why Great Escape founder Martin Elbourne believes this is a topic that should be at the top of the new UK government’s agenda, as explained during this year’s CMU Insights @ TGE.