Nashville May Follow Austin, Seattle Lead with Music Commission

Nashville business leaders are considering the creation of a music commission to promote the industry locally and to the rest of the world.

Organizers have already begun looking to cities like Seattle, which will formally name a music commission in January. James Keblas, who leads Seattle’s office of film and music, says the commission will be tasked with branding the city made famous by grunge as a music hub.

“It’s culturally something we identify with. We think music makes us unique and it’s something we really like about us. But we also know it’s a powerhouse economically.”

Austin has taken a more inward approach. The Texas city – dubbed the live music capital of the world – has had a music commission for more than ten years. Chairman Brad Steine says promotion is on the backburner.

“That’s kind of a minor goal because people have real world problems that we’re trying to solve, and so that’s our priority.”

The Austin Music Commission often runs interference for venues who violate the city noise ordinance. It also has worked to get musicians health coverage and find them affordable housing.

Nashville’s interest is figuring out how to remain known as THE Music City.

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