How do you build a great music scene?

In my opinion, this is one of the most important elements in building a place that cultural creatives will be attracted to. At least one economically successful city swears by it.

The easiest way to realize the power of music is to understand history. For instance, in the book Capitol Rock, the author describes Washington DC’s Georgetown renaissance in the 1960’s, when Beatlemania with its wake of local rock & roll bands and bohemian crowds sparked the transformation of a “bleak concentration of neighborhood shops and restaurants” into what is today the city’s nightlife centerpiece. Live bands and artists gained exposure nationally through American Bandstand, and locally through teen dance centers that rocked on weekend nights. Two older ladies in my building will attest to that, “It was a lot of fun back then.”

Now, take Jane Jacob’s diversity requirements for a great city, which calls for major amenities that draw large crowds amid residential neighborhoods of small blocks with old and new buildings, and you’ve got the CoolTown recipe for building a music scene.

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