The Music Cities Manual

Sound Diplomacy are strategic consultants delivering economic growth in cities and places through music and the night time economy.

They published a Music Cities Manual : a set of tools, case studies and lessons to increase the value of music in cities, towns and places.

They developed the “Music Cities Method”, 13 indicators of a thriving music policy and advice on how to implement them in diverse territories.

Download the Music Cities Manual

The 13 indicators of the Music Cities Method:

  1. Music is infrastructure: develop a policy
  2. Understand your environment: asset map it
  3. Music & Non-Music people unite: create a coalition
  4. Respect and celebrate your past: use your heritage
  5. Everyone loves music: use yours for tourism
  6. Use music to achieve sustainable development
  7. We all need a place to develop: support venues
  8. Create an entrepreneurial environment for business
  9. Prioritise music education across young and old: engagement is key
  10. Support your evening & night time economy: we all have one
  11. Prioritise affordability: humanise your buildings and land
  12. Recognise how big we are if we work together: be international
  13. Music is central to our health and wellbeing

To go further…

The Music Cities Manual is one of many initiatives you can take inspiration from when acting to prevent conflicts related to sound emissions. Here are some other useful tools that can help build healthy relationships with neighbours and local authorities:

Increase visibility and comprehension of the vibrant music ecosystem of a city: the Club Kataster Project

The lack of recognition and of a strong common voice of live music venues and clubs in a given area gives more weight to the voice of newcomers. With increased visibility of the live music ecosystem of a given neighbourhood or city, neighbour complaints would not have the same impact to the ears of local authorities.

How to prevent conflicts with neighbours, local authorities and real-estate promoters at an early stage?

Club Kataster is a project run by Club Kombinat, live music venues and clubs association in Hamburg. It consists in a map of the existing clubsin Hamburg, that the authorities and citizens can consult in the “Hamburg Urban Data Hub”, the official Data Map of the city of Hamburg. This project aims at involving cultural actors in the decision-making processes of a city, whether concerning public health, sustainable development or urbanisation.

More information on the Club Kataster Project can be found here.

Inscribing the protection of live music venues in regulations: the Agent of Change principle

Implemented in the UK by Music Venue Trust, Agent of Change says that the person or business responsible for the change is responsible for managing the impact of the change. This means that an apartment block to be built near an established live music venue or club would have to pay for soundproofing, while a live music venue or club opening in a residential area would be responsible for the costs.

The Agent of Change is a helpful ressource regarding the protection of live music scenes in the context of urban densification. Learn more about it on our webinar hosted by Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust.

Inviting neighbours and local authorities to discover their local live music scenes: the Open Club Day

The Open Club Day is an event coordinated by Live DMA that takes place all over Europe every first Saturday of February. Live music venues and clubs are encouraged to open their doors to the public during the day and invite audiences to discover what happens backstage.

Although many activities can be proposed during this event (guided tours, disco for kids, open soundchecks, discovery of the different jobs of a live music venue…), the Open Club Day can also be a useful tool to improve the relationship between a venue and its neighbours or the local authorities. By inviting directly the neighbours of a venue and/or local authorities to the Open Club Day can help you demystify the negative view of a venue or club these people may have as well as start a dialogue between a venue, its neighbours and the local authorities.  

The Third European edition of the Open Club Day will happen on Saturday the 1st of February.

More info:
The Open Club Day website.
Presentation of the Second European edition of the Open Club Day can be consulted here.