How Music Increases Economic, Social
and Cultural Growth in Your City

Sound Diplomacy are proud to present the Music Cities Manual, a set of tools, case studies and lessons to increase the value of music in your city, town or place.

We hope cities, regions and places use this guide as a catalyst to improve their communities through music, because evidence demonstrates that this is what happens when music is incorporated in policy early and often.
— Dr. Shain Shapiro, Founder & President, Sound Diplomacy

This document is your introduction to realising what your music policy can deliver.  Music is a revenue stream you haven’t realised yet. And music, when successful, drives growth across a variety of sectors, from film to fashion, education to logistics.  

The Music Cities Manual provides 13 comprehensive, common-sense steps for any city, place or government to incorporate music into its overall strategic aims, goals and management plans. From planning and zoning to industry development, education to health and wellbeing, equity and social inclusion, music is an expansive, powerful tool to develop more representative, participatory urban strategies that can be used to improve urban policy, resilience and growth.

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.
— Paul Pacifico, CEO of AIM

The Music Cities Manual further supports a trend emerging around the world - cities are paying more deliberate and intentional attention to their music, culture and night time economies. A dozen new ‘Night Mayor’ posts have emerged over the last few years and music offices are growing globally, being incorporated into both economic development and tourism departments around the world.

Never before has a report been released that links music directly to every city department, and details how it is a tool to improve access, create jobs, drive wealth and support sustainable tourism. With this document and with Sound Diplomacy’s direction, your music policy will create jobs, drive economic growth, support sustainable development goals, increase tourists and improve quality of life.

Music Cities Guide Assets Method

The full Music Cities Guide is available to download now. For more information about the guide or to be a supporter, get in touch here.


SOME OF Our Supporters

The Music Cities Manual should be required reading for any city on the journey to develop sensible and effective music policies. Sound Diplomacy combines deep understanding of how cities function with broad, international experience designing music policy to create a clear, step-by-step guide that can benefit anyone passionate about preserving and improving their music ecosystem.
— Shira Gans, Senior Executive Director, Policy and Programs, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment

I wish that a Music Cities Manual existed back in the 1960s and 1970s when I was running Stax Records. Then it would have been easier to develop relationships across city government and other city policy makers to demonstrate the value of music’s economic and social impact across all cities and all people. This report is a terrific synergy of music’s invaluable influence on society. I profoundly urge everyone to read it - carefully & thoroughly!
— Al Bell, Chairman, Al Bell Presents LLC | Chairman, Former Owner Stax Records

Without its musical heritage, Camden, like many parts of London, would have nowhere near the global status it enjoys. But we mustn’t take this currency for granted and only by planning music into regeneration can we help secure one of our most important legacies and art forms. This report sets out numerous straight-forward solutions that have proven successful globally and need to be recognised in cities around the world.
— Anna Lewis, Board Member, The Roundhouse and Director, Greycoat UK