Music Cities

Delivering Cardiff’s Music Ecosystem Strategy

In April 2019, Sound Diplomacy’s full report and strategic recommendations for Cardiff’s music ecosystem were made public by Cardiff Council, representing the culmination of 18 months’ work. In this time, we engaged with multiple council departments and over 130 stakeholders face to face, analysed answers from 1000+ survey respondents and organised multiple city visits. It is the biggest project of this kind we have completed in the UK to date.

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Over the course of the work, we delivered a Music Vision to lay down our strategic aims and how we hoped to achieve them. We hosted a series of roundtables, open door meetings, town hall style debates, and 1 on 1 interviews with stakeholders in Cardiff’s music ecosystem, ranging from CEOs to students, university professors to classical musicians, venue managers, funders and promoters to everything in between. We launched a Full Music Ecosystem Survey to ensure local residents and organisations outside the music industry also had a chance to have they voices heard, and we undertook a Music Infrastructure Mapping exercise and an Economic Impact Study of the city’s music ecosystem, benchmarking our findings to data from other comparator cities.  

We then completed a Comparative Analysis report, looking at how legislation in areas such as Licensing, Planning, Transport, Governance & Leadership and Funding held up against counterpart policy in five chosen international cities. This was accompanied by a comprehensive Regulatory Assessment of Cardiff’s legislative landscape, and specifically how it interacted with, allowed or prevented music to thrive within it.

Once we completed the qualitative and quantitative stages of the research, we delivered the final report, which included the Key Findings & Strategic Recommendations, and an Executive Summary.

The recommendations are designed to build on Cardiff’s music ecosystem’s strengths, address the areas of underdevelopment, and lay down a path to make music an integral part of the city’s daily life. We are pleased to say that the public reception has been fantastic, with some of Cardiff’s music ecosystem’s leading figures engaging with the work very positively.

Since then, Cardiff’s Scrutiny Cabinet has given unanimous approval to the report, and the full set of recommendations have been approved, with both the Cabinet and all the opposition political parties agreeing to them.

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I would like to thank every individual that worked with us, took an interest in the report, responded to the survey, attended a roundtable and shared information. Your participation and input has been invaluable and the work could not have been done without it. I look forward to the next stages of Sound Diplomacy’s relationship with the city, to see the recommendations being implemented, and work towards making Cardiff the Music City it aspires to be.

Read the Executive Summary here.

Rollo Maschietto, Cardiff Project Lead, UK Office



Sound Diplomacy at SXSW 2019

Guest post by Elizabeth Cawein.

I always know I’ve had a good SXSW when I’ve lost count of two things: number of tacos consumed and number of new bands discovered. This year was a win in both categories, so much so that it’s taken me almost a month to recover and put together a proper recap of the highlights!

I was honored to start off my week (truly, about an hour after my plane landed!) at the EU House, sharing some insights as part of a panel discussion on music export strategies.

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This is a topic I’m passionate about, and it was great to have the chance to highlight not just the economic possibilities of music export, but the cultural implications when we create opportunities for artists to build relationships and collaborations across borders.

Later in the week I had the chance to experience GovCity, the first gathering of its kind of innovators in government, and meet some stellar young people as a SXSW music mentor.

And of course, in between all of this I saw as much live music as I could! Naturally, I always love to check out what cities and countries are doing to represent at their own showcases and day parties, and this year was no exception – I took in bands at WeDC House, the Canadian Blast BBQ, Tulsa Boom Factory, and more. Sound Diplomacy was once again involved in organizing the German Haus at SXSW - 7 days of events around music, creative industries and tech - and I was glad to check out the new venue, meet my colleagues from Berlin and enjoy some live music. I also got to stop by the Recording Academy’s block party at the Four Seasons, another annual favorite, for some great live music presented by the Texas chapter. (And in case you missed it, they shared our Music Cities Manual on Grammy.com!).

My SXSW week ended as strong as it started, with our panel on music cities – I was thrilled to see how many people came out to be a part of this conversation at 5 o’clock on the Friday of SXSW, when a cold beer was most certainly awaiting them anywhere else! That turnout – along with so many conversations I had throughout the week with folks from across the U.S. and around the world – is an indication of how important this topic is, and how many people are invested in the music ecosystems in their home towns and cities. I so enjoyed moderating this conversation with Matthew Kowal from Majestic Collaborations, Kara Elliott-Ortega from the City of Boston, and Nick Mattera from Brand USA. You can check our Music Cities Manual here.

Furthermore, as part of 'Music Cities: The Impact of Music and Nightlife on Cities' programme at German Haus, Sound Diplomacy hosted a presentation on Music City Scope - an interactive model developed by the City Science Lab at Hafen City University, Hamburg in collaboration with Sound Diplomacy, Clubkombinat, and the Hamburg Music Business Development Association. Music City Scope is an interactive, digital model that analyzes the relationship between music and urban development and simulates development scenarios. The presentation session was attended by economists, researchers, business associations and night-time economy officials from European and US cities. 

THE MUSIC CITIES MANUAL


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

MEET OUR U.S. LEAD ELIZABETH CAWEIN


As Sound Diplomacy announces plans for American outpost, get to know our first boots on the ground

Guest post by Elizabeth Cawein.


I don’t remember the exact day, month or year that I became obsessed with music – I imagine it really set in far too early for my recorded memory – but I do remember when I became obsessed with music and cities.

It was 2015, and I’d been spending the better part of the year working to build a nonprofit export office in my hometown of Memphis that would focus on leveraging our music for talent attraction, tourism and economic development, while creating a needed pipeline for our musicians to grow their national audiences. In the midst of that work I’d become interested in the interesting ways other cities – in the U.S. and across the globe – were approaching supports for their music ecosystems.

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Enter Sound Diplomacy and the Music Cities Convention, the first-ever in the states, held at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. in October of 2015. I saw a Billboard story about the conference by chance and was immediately intrigued. But it was just a few weeks away, so I figured it wasn’t practical to try to make it work. I decided to check flights, just in case, sure that the last-minute price gouging would make the decision for me.

Somehow, the flights were hovering around $115.

Almost as soon as I closed my Kayak.com search tab, I had an e-mail from my husband – he would need to be in D.C. at the end of the month for a conference. The exact dates of the Music Cities Convention. If I didn’t think it was kismet then (I did), I certainly know it was now.

That one-day event left me feeling the best kind of exhausted: my brain absolutely swimming with ideas, my passions ignited, and my preconceived notions smashed. I was hooked.

At the close of the conference I marched up to Shain Shapiro, Sound Diplomacy President and Founder, and asked what I needed to do to bring the Music Cities Convention to Memphis. Two years later, that’s exactly what it did. The Memphis edition of Music Cities Convention, held in October 2017, was in a way the beginning of my working relationship with Sound Diplomacy, as I spent a year working with them to put together the conference programming and logistics.

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A year later, I had the pleasure of working with the Music Cities team again for the Music Cities Convention in Lafayette, La., handling publicity and marketing for the convening. And in January of this year, we made it official. I’m thrilled to join the Sound Diplomacy team, especially at such an exciting time of growth with the opening of a new U.S. home base.

The reality is that America traditionally has lagged behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to funding and supports for arts and culture, so to see so many U.S. cities interested in thinking about innovative ways to grow their music ecosystems and understanding the broad impact that a healthy music community can have for their citizens is exciting, and I hope a sign of a paradigm shift ahead. The prospect of being invited to so many incredible places to discover their music cultures and to help them realize the potential in their own cities is a thrill for my music-and-cities obsessed brain, and an honor.

And beyond my hometown of Memphis – one of America’s richest and most important music cities – Sound Diplomacy is already working with some of my favorite American music hubs: New Orleans, Muscle Shoals and San Francisco.

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I also can’t wait to discover the music of Indianapolis, Fort Worth, and Huntsville. (And so many others I can’t mention just yet!) What I know to be true is that music makes our cities better. It drives economic impact, it creates jobs and attracts talent. It invites people to our cities, brings in hotel tax dollars and creates cultural connection through tourism. It improves education, it brings life to our neighborhoods. It gives us pride in a shared civic identity and makes us invest and care deeply in who we are as a city. And when our musicians thrive, our cities are full of creative people who can very often bring creative solutions to civic problems.

When our musicians thrive, our cities thrive. I’m driven by that belief, and lucky to be part of an organization that believes it, too.


SOUND DIPLOMACY IN THE U.S.


SOUND DIPLOMACY TO OPEN U.S. OFFICE IN 2019


Press Release, March 5th, 2019

GLOBAL CONSULTANCY SOUND DIPLOMACY TO OPEN U.S. OFFICE IN 2019

Announcement made in exclusive Billboard Magazine story out today

(NEW ORLEANS, LA) – Sound Diplomacy will open a U.S. office in 2019 to be headquartered in one of the country’s most revered music cities, New Orleans, it was announced today via an exclusive story in Billboard Magazine.

 The international consultancy, which has offices in London, Berlin and Barcelona, has already begun working with diverse U.S. cities to develop strategies for growing the economic impact of music, including historic music regions like Muscle Shoals and emerging music cities like Indianapolis and Fort Worth. The U.S. office – which will open a brick and mortar location later this year – brings with it the growth of Sound Diplomacy’s U.S. team and myriad exciting music and strategy projects from coast to coast.

"The U.S. is one of the most diverse music markets in the world and for us, where we've seen interest in our music cities work since 2015,” says Shain Shapiro, Founder and President of Sound Diplomacy. “Since we staged our first Music Cities Convention in 2015 in Georgetown, to launching our first strategy in Huntsville, Ala., last year, the U.S. has shown us that city leaders are open to music's role and keen to see its value increase. It was a no-brainer for us to choose the U.S. as our next outpost, and something we're very excited about.”

 In January, Greater New Orleans, Inc., announced the launch of the New Orleans Music Economy Initiative, a comprehensive music strategy which will be led by Sound Diplomacy.

“New Orleans is without a doubt, a global leading music city,” Shapiro says. “But it's also one that's emerging, through its burgeoning tech and entrepreneurial community. It's diverse, rich in culture and unique. It also has a direct flight from London and benefits from a progressive incentive scheme provided by the State of Louisiana that directly targets music-focused businesses like ours. The business community there, from Greater New Orleans, Inc., to the Recording Academy, has been incredibly welcoming, helping us identify space, partners and alliances. We can't wait to put our boots on the ground there later this year, in addition to us working with them on the New Orleans Music Economy Initiative (NOME).”

Leading Sound Diplomacy’s expansion efforts in the U.S. is Shapiro, with the support of Elizabeth Cawein, a long-time music publicist turned strategist and advocate based in Memphis. Cawein brings to the role eight years’ experience in music publicity and expertise on music ecosystem strategies gained through her work with Music Export Memphis, an innovative nonprofit that leverages public and private funding to act as an export office for the city’s music culture.

“As a passionate believer that smart cities are music cities, I’m thrilled to be leading Sound Diplomacy’s work in the U.S.,” Cawein says. “We know that when music ecosystems thrive, our cities thrive. I’m particularly excited to connect with leaders across government, tourism, and economic development, to illustrate the immense value of music, in quality of life, in talent attraction, in civic identity and civic pride.”

 In addition to previously announced projects in San Francisco, New Orleans, Huntsville and the Shoals Region, the story in Billboard today also mentions Sound Diplomacy North American projects in Indianapolis, Fort Worth, Northwest Arkansas, and Vancouver, Canada.

For more information, visit www.sounddiplomacy.com or contact:
Elizabeth Cawein
Signal Flow PR
901.268.9038 | elizabeth@signalflowpr.com


MONTHLY ROUNDUP - FEBRUARY


WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING IN FEBRUARY

A month of events, exciting announcements
and U.S. activity.


Highlights from last month:

  • We announced Julia Eberdal’s appointment as Sound Diplomacy’s new CEO, we’re so pleased to welcome her to the team. Read the press release here.

  • To kick start the Sound Diplomacy events calendar for 2019 and to engage with an increasingly hot topic concerning the urban planning and culture sectors, we hosted Sound Development, our quarterly mini-series discussion at East London’s newest destination, Republic. Our event chair Kat Hanna has written a little overview of the event here.

  • Earlier this month saw the launch of the Cultural Cities Enquiry report, looking at developing a new model to help culture flourish in our cities. Our Founder Shain Shapiro was part of the Board leading the Enquiry whose purpose was to "consider how we can radically increase the ability of our cities to use culture to drive inclusive growth". The report is now available to download here.

  • We returned to the House of Lords for our penultimate session in our Music in Society inquiry, this month investigating the role of music in driving economic growth. Read more here.

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What we’ve been reading:


What we’ve been listening to:

Paloma from our Barcelona office lays down a Diva themed playlist. In her words, "February is a tough month, so it's good to have some diva pep talk to support you!"


What we’re looking forward to…

This month we’re starting by heading to ITB in Berlin to promote our Music Tourism Convention, at the same time Danny will be at ILMC talking about how music can be used to boost tourism. We’ll also be at SXSW with lots of activity happening there and MIPIM. Come and say hello if you’re there!