Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Music Revisited

In typical Rochester fashion, discussion of the local music scene sometimes turns into a lament about defunct music venues and/or how Rochester is not Nashville or Austin.  Also in typical Rochester fashion, the region's actual musical resume far exceeds the perception that exists both within and outside Western New York.

ValuePenguin recently sought to identify the best U.S. metropolitan areas for music fans.  The authors looked at three weighted categories (the band, the crowd, and the intangibles) which together contained a total of 15 individual data points:

  • musicians/singers per 1,000 people
  • hourly median wage for musicians/singers
  • musical groups/artists per 1,000 people
  • sound recording studios per 1,000 people
  • record labels
  • radio stations per 1,000 people
  • musical instrument/supply stores per 1,000 people
  • bars per 1,000 people
  • top venues
  • tape/CD/record stores per 1,000 people
  • average annual days with precipitation
  • average closing time of bars
  • percent of population with visual/performing arts degrees
  • top music schools
  • percent of population using public transportation to commute

We can argue with the methodology all we want, but since Rochester's performance was stellar, we won't.  Of 200 metropolitan statistical areas studied, here are the nation's ten best metro areas for music fans in 2016:
  1. Nashville, TN
  2. Honolulu, HI
  3. Seattle, WA
  4. Madison, WI
  5. Austin, TX
  6. Albany, NY
  7. Tucson, AZ
  8. Rochester, NY
  9. Pittsburgh, PA
  10. San Francisco, CA


  1. It is often easy to overlook how good our own local music scene is when the general public only notices that we are frequently skipped over for the "big" shows due to our lack of a large arena for concerts.

  2. Keep these lists/awards coming, they're great!