St. Johns County

St. Johns County Music Strategy

About Sound Diplomacy:

Sound Diplomacy is the global expert in developing long term and self sufficient music strategies. We have worked in over 40 countries and with over 100 clients, spanning public, private and third sectors, such as the Greater London Authority, Walton Family Foundation, Arup, the Cities of Vancouver, San Francisco, Cardiff, and the United Nations.

We are proud to be working with the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council to develop a comprehensive music strategy for the county.

With its stunning beaches and natural landscape, it is no surprise that tourism is a top economic driver in St. Johns County - but the music culture of the area is an underutilized asset in attracting both short-term visitors and top talent to the area. Through our work, we will help County leadership assess and understand the music ecosystem in St. Johns County, build smart strategies for ecosystem growth, and identify assets and opportunities that will define a compelling music tourism offering.

Sound Diplomacy will create a comprehensive music strategy for St. Johns County with an emphasis on music tourism, building a road map for the County to grow its music ecosystem for the broad benefit of all citizens and to leverage music as a year-round driver of tourism.

What we are here to do:

  1. ECOLOGIC ASSESSMENT: Map St. Johns current music ecology, such as music venues, rehearsal spaces and studios. Stakeholder engagement, including online survey and study visit to St. Johns

  2. REGULATORY ASSESSMENT: Assess the county’s existing music and tourism policies for deficiencies and opportunities

  3. ECONOMIC IMPACT: Provide an economic assessment of the St. Johns music industry

  4. MUSIC STRATEGY: Develop a detailed report that will serve as a blueprint for managing, assessing, evaluating and strategizing St. Johns music ecosystem.

How We Will Do It:

Sound Diplomacy will develop this assessment and action plan through a comprehensive process, including mapping, policy analysis, stakeholder engagement, extensive comparative analysis, and economic impact assessment, ultimately designing a roadmap to strengthen and grow the music ecosystem of St. Johns County. Sound Diplomacy will visit St. Johns to conduct roundtables and expert interviews and launch an online survey that is accessible to all music ecosystem stakeholders, including the general audience. We will involve the breadth and depth of the music industry economy and ecology across all genres, sectors and vocations.

This website will be updated regularly, with reports on what has been done, what is planned, key dates, and an opportunity for you to comment on the process. If you’d like be kept abreast on the work, please contact us below to get updates straight to your inbox.  We will alert you when new pieces of research or participatory surveys are published online.


What we’ve done already:


Sound Diplomacy did a first visit to St. Johns County from June 11 - 12. In mid-July Sound Diplomacy published a Music Vision for the county, defining the direction of the music strategy going forward.

Key next steps:

  • October: One week study visit to St. Johns to conduct interviews and roundtables

  • Nov. - Dec: Launch of online survey


Overall timeline:


Step 1


Q2 2019


Step 2

Ecological Assessment

Q2-4 2019


Step 3

Regulatory Assessment

Q2-3 2019


Step 4

Economic Impact and Ecosystem Analysis

Q4 2019


Step 5

Development of the Music Industry Strategy

Q1-2 2020

Meet the Team:

Project Lead: Lucas Knoflach, Senior Project Manager

Lucas is a Senior Project Manager at Sound Diplomacy with 9 years of experience in the music, cultural and creative industries sector. Amongst other projects, he co-wrote an analysis of the digitization processes of the music- and creative industries sector for the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research, organizes the Music Cities Hackathons, worked on several music strategies such as for the City of Lausanne and the region of Northwest Arkansas and has managed several events (Germany at SXSW, BIME, Reeperbahn Festival,...) for Sound Diplomacy. Lucas has spoken at conferences such as MUTEK Montreal and BIME in Bilbao and holds a Master degree in Marketing & Media Management from the Stockholm School of Economics and a Bachelor degree in International Business from the Vienna School of Business and Economics.

US Lead: Michaela Marchardt, Senior Project Manager

Michaela is a Senior Project Manager at Sound Diplomacy with 15 years of experience in market research and strategic brand planning for the tourism and city government sector. She is an expert at creating focused and differentiating business strategies that give clients a competitive advantage and distinct image. She is passionate about music and entertainment culture and writes music and festival reviews on the side. Michaela holds a Master’s Degree in Communications & Advertising from the University of Tennessee and teaches college student workshops on research and brand development during the summer. At the moment, she is working on music city strategies for St. Johns County, Florida and Branson, Missouri.

Please contact us if you require any further information.