Sound Diplomacy was contracted by Huntsville City Council to deliver an extensive music audit and strategy to kickstart Huntsville’s journey to becoming Alabama’s first Music City.

We believe this is the most progressive music strategy thus far in the US and one that will serve as a benchmark for other cities to look at, adopt and learn from. We'll be reviewing, reassessing and supporting its development throughout, be it in North Huntsville, MidCity or Downtown.

Through this process we interviewed over 100 people, engaged with
over 1000 through our survey and had two public forums.



The report is now publicly available. You can read and download the Executive Summary of the report by clicking the link.



What we have done:


Over the past 14 months, we have accomplished something that has never been done in an American city. We looked deeply at the role of music across all city departments,
to think about how music, regardless of genre, culture, discipline or output, can bring us together.

The project, lasting just over a year, has been combined with a music audit of the Muscle Shoals region to create the most extensive music ecosystem survey in the nation. The project was carried out in several phases, launching with visits to Huntsville to speak to key stakeholders and participants in the local music industry.

These interview findings were followed by a survey and mapping of the current industry to identify the challenges and opportunities in the city, which were further analyzed in order to present a series of recommendations to help propel Huntsville toward its objectives.

In May 2019, Sound Diplomacy presented a first draft of the Music Ecosystem Study and Strategic Recommendations. The final study was released August 23rd 2019 at a public presentation at the Von Braun Center Concert Hall.


Watch Mayor Tommy Battle’s #StateofCityHsv video on December 4, 2018:

Overall timeline:


step 1

Stakeholder Database Development

Comparative Analysis & Benchmarking

April-May 2018

May-Aug 2018


step 2

Survey & Interviews

Jun-Sep 2018


step 3

Data Capture & Economic Mapping

Aug-Oct 2018


step 4

Economic Impact Analysis

Presentation of Draft Strategic Plan

Jan 2019

Jan 2019


step 5

Music Strategy & Action Plan

August 2019

General information:

Please contact us if you require any further information:

Katerina Ivanova, Research Manager -

Azucena Micó, Project Lead -

Nadia Niakossary, Local Consultant -

Katja Hermes, Project Director -


Katja Hermes, Project Director

Azucena Micó, Project Lead

Azucena is Senior Project manager at Sound Diplomacy. She has managed some of the company's biggest projects, including music market analysis and music strategies for cities, countries and spaces. At the moment, she is working in music city strategies for the City of San Francisco, The City of Huntsville (Alabama) and the region of Northwest Arkansas; she is coordinating an economic impact analysis of a festival in Mallorca; she is managing the design of a two-year project to strengthen the Cuban music industry through UNIDO; and is the coordinator of Fabra i Coats Creative Factory Music Committee, among others. She holds a Masters Degree in Cultural Policies and Management and a Masters Degree on Cultural Production and Communication. She is an academic researcher in the field of social value of music in the urban environment and guest lecturer at Universitat Blanquerna Ramon Llull in Barcelona.

Katerina Ivanova, Research Manager

Kat is a project manager and researcher with six years of experience in market research and cultural industries management. She’s passionate about music, night-time culture, and urban planning. At Sound Diplomacy since 2016, Kat works on music and music tourism strategies for cities and countries (Armenia, Brisbane, Peru), as well as programming & management of events (Music Cities Convention, Reeperbahn, BIME, German Haus at SXSW).