A new comprehensive guide and nine point plan for recovery has been launched as part of the #BetterMusicCities campaign to support cities in leveraging music economies as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
The Music Cities Resilience Handbook, which has been published by global music policy leaders Sound Diplomacy, offers nine strategies any city, state or region can take to increase the value of music in their communities.
The guide highlights reforms such as recognising music and culture in infrastructure plans, aligning relief to creation, establishing city music registries to support local songwriters and refining and diversifying music education programs.
Shain Shapiro, founder and chief executive of Sound Diplomacy, said: “There are few music offices in cities around the world. Music education is in decline. Many relief programs to support creatives are challenging for musicians to access.
“In some countries, there are little intellectual property protections for musicians. Yet, we all need music. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates music as a global unifier – from balconies in Europe to bedrooms live streaming raves around the world. But music – as an ecosystem – lacks investment. We can change this and together, build #BetterMusicCities.”
The campaign’s partners include the Recording Academy, Association for Independent Music (AIM), Night Time Industries Association, Core Cities, Music Venue Trust, New Music USA, SheSaid.so, Gener8tor, Association for Electronic Music, among others.
It calls on cities, governments, organisations and the music industry to ensure music policy is embedded in recovery and resilience plans in cities and towns around the world.
The #BetterMusicCities plan is:
1. Put Artists To Work: Incentivise Creation From Crisis
2. Convert Creativity Into Community Investment Vehicles
3. Create a City Music Registry
4. Start A Cultural Infrastructure Plan
5. Create Emergency Preparedness Plans (Venue, Event, City-wide)
6. Ensure Music, Arts and Culture Language Is Included In Policy Frameworks
7. Commit to Genre Agnosticism
8. Plan and Develop a Night Time Economy Policy
9. Set-Up City-Wide Artist Compensation Policies, Music Liaison Services & Fair Play Schemes
The call to action includes a downloadable letter, which can be edited and shared with any Mayor or City Councilperson outlining the value of music, how to engage with it and the outcomes it can deliver.
Mark Davyd, chief executive of UK-based Music Venue Trust, said: “The Music Cities Resilience Handbook is an important piece of work that creates a roadmap for a better future for artists, crew, technicians and the venues they work in.
“It provides a framework upon which any layer of government can test its approach to music and identify the value of music, and how to enhance and protect that value. Grassroots music venues sit at the heart of that framework, and Music Venue Trust is pleased to see that role recognised is this new way of thinking about our towns and cities.”