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On our own behalf: MCN founded into independent transnational association

The non-profit association Music Cities Network (MCN) unites music cities and policy makers around the globe. With the official foundation in January 2022, the network enables a platform for transnational cooperation, collaboration and music policy exchange. The network was initiated in 2016 by the Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM) and Sound Diplomacy and is now professionalised into an independent legal body. Founding members are the cities of Aarhus (DK), Bergen (NOR), Berlin (GER), Gothenburg (SWE), Groningen (NL), Hamburg (GER), Manchester (UK), Reykjavik (ISL) and Sydney (AUS).

In the light of the ongoing pandemic, the existing and emerging challenges of the global music industry have become more vital than ever. A future-proofed music industry needs to become more diverse, fairer and healthier. That is why the MCN contributes to this mission by intensifying borderless cultural exchange and business opportunities between music cities through enabling platforms empoweringinnovation.

The member-based network actively designs hands-on solutions to bridge the gaps between all music city stakeholders: artists, music entrepreneurs, city marketing strategists and music policy makers. The actions are aiming towards MCNs vision to get decision makers and politicians to sustainably acknowledge music as an integrated part of city development.

The formation of the association has appointed the following five board members and Managing Director:

  • Debra King (Manchester) Director Brighter Sound, Sector Lead: Manchester Music City as Chair of the Board Music Cities Network e.V.;

  • Jesper Mardahl (Aarhus), Managing director, Promus, Chief secretary, Music City Aarhus 2022, Conference Organizer, SPOT+;

  • Johannes Everke (Hamburg), Vice Director Cross-sectoral Marketing Hamburg Marketing;

  • Lex Davidson (Sydney) Strategy Advisor - Culture, City of Sydney;

  • María Rut Reynisdóttir (Reykjavik), Head of Cultural Office, Reykjavik Music City, Reykjavik Culture and Tourism;

  • Lena Ingwersen (Global, but based in Hamburg), Cultural Manager, Part of Keychange and DJ, who has been lead coordinating the network since 2016 is now taking on the role as Managing Director.

Debra King, Chair of the Board Music Cities Network e.V.; Brighter Sound Manchester - “The Music Cities Network provides a sustainable international platform that enables new ways for music policy makers, music entrepreneurs and artists to learn, exchange and co produce together. It is really exciting to be part of a dynamic network that continues to be a vital force supporting local and transnational music ecosystems. Together we strategise to raise the growth of music in our cities, and build resources for transnational collaborative projects such as the European Music Business Task Force (EMBTF) and the Link Up Euro Connections (LEC).”

Johannes Everke, Vice Chair of the Board Music Cities Network e.V.; Hamburg Marketing “The Music Cities Network is not only a perfect structure to support transnational cooperation between the cities, but moreover a brilliant platform to position the cities as global hotspots for music. The MCN will enable its members to become Music Cities prioritising music and culture policy actively leading to attracting new businesses, workforce and tourists.”

Lena Ingwersen, Managing Director Music Cities Network e.V.“Music is an important pillar of transnational culture, a universal art, and industry that strengthens social cohesion, local economies, and character. With the MCN, we have a network with a holistic approach to tackle current and future challenges faced by music cities and thereby facilitate exchange and projects to foster the local music ecosystems. To be able to contribute to creating sustainable change for a better and more diverse music industry gives me hope and I am very excited to develop this unique network further together with my inspiring colleagues in the future.”

The new non-profit association is based in Hamburg but acts transnationally.

You can download the Press Release here.


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