April 10 - 13, 2019 - Chengdu, China

Our first-ever Asian event and biggest Music Cities Convention to date was held in Chengdu, China’s next Music City.

Traditional dinners and performances, two full Convention days, pandas, ancient towns and live music are just some of the highlights of this memorable edition.


Two weeks ago, as we walked out of the airport, we were immediately inundated with Chengdu’s unique sounds, smells and charm. A long-established music center, the city’s creative ferment welcomed us and our enthusiasm about bringing our first event to China was further amplified when we saw Music Cities Convention billboards, subway ads and bus banners spread all over the city.


48 speakers and 500+ delegates from all over the world got together in Chengdu for our biggest Music Cities Convention to date and discussed music, policy, planning, tourism and much more around this edition’s theme, “Districts to Countries: Envisioning Global Music Cities”.

We began the eighth global edition of Music Cities Convention on April 10th with a special VIP opening reception held at the Grand Hyatt, where we were immersed in Chengdu culture and heritage with traditional food, music and dances.


On April 11th, Luo Qiang, Mayor of Chengdu, and our very own Shain Shapiro welcomed delegates to the Grand Hyatt and kicked off Music Cities Convention.

Our virtual journey around the world’s most prominent music cities started shortly after with presentations from cities such as Bologna, Chengdu, Beijing, Genoa, London, Kingston and Nashville; we then learnt more on the World Choir Games and the Chinese recording industry.

Other stops included Tenerife, Spain, the Sarawak province in Malaysia and Alaska, USA and completed a full day of insights and inspiring talks, rounded off by a panel discussion on how to develop world class music hubs featuring top minds from France, Brazil, China and the US.

Day 1 ended at the Level 12 French Garden at Grand Hyatt with food, drinks and a special performance from the Sichuan Province Song and Dance Theater Company.


On Day 2, Music Cities Convention was held at the Eastern Suburb Memory, a music-themed park located in the east side of Chengdu. There, another full day began with presentations from Melbourne, Australia and Seoul, South Korea.

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Pierce Freelon then told us more on how to engage young people in music and why it is so important, followed by a panel discussion on music education and a presentation on the relationship between music and cognitive health; night-time economy challenges were discussed by Merlijn Poolman, Night Mayor of Groningen, just before lunch.

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In the afternoon, topics such as music tourism, traditional music export, Chinese music industry and economic development were addressed in a variety of presentations and panels before rounding off day 2 with a suggestive signing ceremony: by joining on stage and signing a symbolic document, delegates from all over the world expressed their interest in further collaborating with the city of Chengdu and in creating a global dialogue around Music Cities. The ceremony truly encapsulated the theme of the event and was the perfect ending to Music Cities Convention.


We obviously couldn’t leave Chengdu without exploring its beauties and attractions. On Saturday April 13th, an additional tourism & networking day brought delegates to the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Base and to the discovery of Jiezi and Andren ancient towns.


Our first Asian event was a huge success and we couldn’t have wished for more: great people, great insights, great music and great places, as well as the awareness that the Music Cities movement is growing every day and in every inch of the world.

A special thank you to our key sponsor Victorian Music Development Office, and to our hosts and partners: the City of Chengdu, Chengdu’s Musical Fun District, Sichuan Province Song and Dance Theatre, the New Silk Road Chamber of Commerce, Incenter Culture, Chengdu Music Industry Promotion Office, Chengdu Culture, Radio And TV, Press And Publication Bureau and Sichuan Federation of Industry and Commerce.

Our next confirmed Music Cities Convention will be held in Denver, USA in September 2020 and tickets are already on sale! Click here for more information.

Hungry for more Chengdu photos? Check out our Facebook photo album!