About MCN


Music Cities Network

About MCN

The Music Cities Network is a collaboration-based network between music cities dedicated to improving communication, cooperation & policies and is focusing on artist-, business- and city development through project development, residencies, showcases, research, publications and networking activities. The network was initiated by Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM) & Sound Diplomacy in 2016 and the current members are Aarhus, Bergen, Berlin, Hamburg, Groningen, Manchester, Nantes, Reykjavik & Sydney. 

Music cities increase revenue, link cultures around nations and continents, retain talent, drive tourism and brand development, and are the key to  sustainable music economies. As melting pots of musical creativity and consumption, urban centres are where music is produced, performed, advertised and sold. There is exceptional potential in this, creating unique opportunities to position music cities as thriving and international important centres of music and media production.

The MCN is a membership-based network, focused on achieving four objectives:

  1. Improving cities through music policies and collaborative projects;
  2. Building greater networks and creating an actionable agenda for change;
  3. Providing and sharing information and research surrounding global music cities activities & policies;
  4. Facilitating exchange and collaboration for music business, artists, cultural institutions and education



  • Project development & fundraising aimed at strengthening the music cultures and music economies of the member cities
  • Presenting the city as one of the worldwide leaders in the music cities discussion and building the city’s reputation
  • Regular exclusive networking/knowledge exchange meetings with other music cities organised by the network also remotely accessible via video conferences
  • Global presentation of each music city and their music culture/scene/business via forward thinking research, online platform, PR and collective events at festivals & conferences
  • Extensive international contact database & direct access to international music city decision makers
  • Access to the biggest database of music cities related research and best practices in English
  • Collaborative research in music city related fields
  • Shaping the music policies agenda in the EU and worldwide
  • Promotion of local talent and local businesses and exclusive exchange opportunities between the members
  • Direct access to a strong team of music cities experts with a responsive secretariat
  • Collaborations with other worldwide City networks like UCLG, GCDN
  • Assistance in rationalizing local music city infrastructure (associations, funding schemes, city development plans)
  • Enhancing global cultural, social and economical collaboration & exchange
Goals Knowledge Exchange,
Research & Policy
City, Artist & Business
City Marketing &
Short term   
  • Knowledge exchange
    Contact exchange / Forum
  • Member communication

  • Contact exchange / Forum
  • Member communication
    Project development
  • Public website & presentation
    of each member music city
  • Joint presentations at
  • Media & PR
Mid term
  • Collaborative research & publications
  • Implementing best practice charter
  • Implementing extensive knowledge
  • Implementing best practice charter
    (artists, business, education)
  • Exchange opportunities
    (artists, business, education)
  • Strengthen project development
  • Further membership advantages
  • Project development
    (support & ideas)
  • Extended Media & PR
Long term
  • Lobbying
  • Strengthen project development
  • Joint music city marketing &
    communication strategies
  • Strengthen project development
    (own projects)


Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM)

The IHM is the network of the music business in Hamburg, representing enterprises in all branches of the music industry. Its main target is to support and help shaping the city of Hamburg as a location of music and music industry by means of networking, public relations and lobbying.

Contact: Timotheus Wiesmann

Sound Diplomacy

Sound Diplomacy is the leading global consultancy advising cities, governments, tourism boards and large organizations on music and night time economy policy. Their work has helped define the ‘music cities movement’ and been delivered in over 20 countries and 50 cities around the world.

Contact: Lucas Knoflach

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