Build These Cities On Rock ’N’ Roll

A recent report from the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry and Music Canada reckons cities worldwide could be taking some simple steps to help develop their music economies.

Apparently the plan is to have every city develop the cachet of London, New York, Nashville or Berlin by offering “the most effective strategies and policies that can be implemented to nurture active music hubs.”

The report is called “The Mastering of a Music City” and was launched at MIDEM June 5. It’s like a simple checklist to help local authorities, businesses, community groups and the creative sector capitalise on how music may build and strengthen their cities.

“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,” explained Music Canada chief exec Graham Henderson. He says the strategies don’t necessarily require heavy investment, and that addressing red tape and establishing dialogue between leaders in the music community and city officials are inexpensive ways to grow music’s contributions.

According to the report, the first low-cost steps are to establish musician-friendly policies, from licensing and liquor laws to parking and planning regulations to affordable housing and artist entrepreneur training. “Just imagine a world where you can go from country to country and find music cities in every one,” said IFPI chief exec Frances Moore. “That would be good for artists, good for record companies, good for city leaders and good for the wider public that just wants to enjoy great music.”