BELFAST SHARES EXPERIENCES WITH ‘MUSIC CITY USA’

Belfast City Hall main picA high powered delegation from Nashville is in Belfast this week to share their experiences of how the music industry can help drive economic and social development.

The music business is worth almost $10 billion annually to the Nashville economy – and those responsible for the city’s success story in this regard are here to share how they have identified key prospects, leveraged industry relationships and incubated new ideas to build a per capita involvement in music business in Nashville which is significantly higher than in any other city in the USA.

The delegation – from the Music City Music Council (MC2), an association of business leaders charged by Mayor Karl Dean with developing strategies toward heightening the awareness and development of Nashville’s global ‘Music City’ brand – is here as part of Belfast City Council’s Belfast Music Week, which features more than 250 events in 70 venues across the city from today (Monday 11 November) until Sunday.

They will also be meeting local civic leaders and music industry representatives to explore potential and mutually-beneficial partnerships between Belfast and Nashville at government, sectoral and artistic levels.

During the visit, Chris Parham, Assistant Director of Economic and Community Development for the Nashville Metropolitan Government, will deliver a workshop on the work of MC2 and how it helps to sustain 56,000 jobs within the Nashville area. The delegation will also include senior representatives from Nashville’s ‘Google For Creators’ project, who will present a separate on how to combine the power of new technology with music for new business.

Both workshops take place at the Ulster Hall on Wednesday (November 13). Admission is free but places are limited and can be booked by emailing culture@belfastcity.gov.uk. Further information is available at www.belfastmusic.org.

The Nashville Music City Music Council is an association of business leaders charged by Mayor Karl Dean with developing strategies toward heightening the awareness and development of Nashville as a global music city and is a partnership between the Nashville Mayor’s Office, the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. This includes the development of creative enterprises, publishing, artist development, technology, media and cultural tourism.

It’s co-chairman, alongside Mayor Dean, is Randy Goodman, former Global President of RCA Records, while other key industry figures involved include Ken Levitan, founder and president of Vector Management (Kings of Leon and Emmylou Harris).

The purpose of Belfast City Council’s Belfast Music Week is to give a concentrated focus on the promotion of indigenous musicians, to show Belfast’s rich musical heritage, thriving contemporary musical scene and promote and highlight the city’s distinctiveness. The music sector in Belfast has grown significantly over the past three years and now plays a key role in the overall economic development of the city. With a rise in musicians and bands making headlines in the international marketplace, and new and innovative music businesses based in Belfast, Belfast City Council is playing a significant role for this industry.

The creative and cultural industries are of economic importance to Belfast and turnover accounts for an estimated £527million to the economy. Belfast Music Week has created an infrastructure across the music sector and raised its profile at home and abroad: this has increased artists’ and business’ ability to reach key international markets, increase sales, attract investment and profile Belfast as a distinctive tourism destination.

Last year, Belfast Music Week had an estimated direct economic benefit to the city of a little over £2 million.

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