New report reveals music can drive growth in cities

The London-based consultancy company Sound Diplomacy has made the case for investment in music as a catalyst for economic growth and social benefit.

The company has set out a 13-point report, The Music Cities Manual, designed for civic leaders around the world to use as a strategic tool to create new opportunities for inward investment, tourism and talent attraction, which was launched at SXSW in Austin, Texas on 15 March.

They outline the ways in which the music industry can be supported through enhancing education and helping live venues, to investing in music tech, development and regeneration strategies.

The key recommendations from the report include putting a stop to cuts in music education funding, appointing night tsars with support for economic policy, and to be more creative with urban planning.

Shain Shapiro, founder, Sound Diplomacy, says: ‘This manual is our attempt to synergise our work with city leaders around the world into 13 actionable steps. There’s huge scope for cities, regions and place shapers of all kinds to improve their communities and affect real, positive change through music. A huge body of evidence supports not just the economic gains, but the social benefits from having music incorporated right across the policy landscape.’

Paul Pacifico, chief executive, The Association of Independent Music, added: ‘With grassroots venues coming under ever-increasing threat, it’s more important than ever to highlight the role music SMEs play in investing in infrastructure that supports artists, encourages career growth and catalyses scenes. The Music Cities Manual helps to underline the massive cultural and economic contribution music makes to its environment. It is undoubtedly an important document for independent labels, artists and the musical ecosystem as a whole.’

For more information and to download the report, please visit

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