top of page

the European Music Cities Policy Guide launch 21.09.23

We have some thrilling news to share with you. The moment we've all been waiting for is finally here! Today we're releasing the European Music Cities Policy Guide.

📖 What's the guide about?

The MusicAIRE funded project by the Center for Music Ecosystems and the Music Cities Network has conducted the first ever music policy think tank for cities in Europe, leading to the publication of a Music Cities Policy Guide online as of today with an official in person launch at Reeperbahn Festival on 21st September 2023. EMPE is the first think tank to integrate and enhance the role that music plays across EU city priorities, covering jobs and skills; education; climate action; infrastructure; tourism; the night time economy; diversity and inclusion and strategic planning. Through a series of 9 themed roundtables held between September 2022 and April 2023 - in partnership with Reeperbahn Festival, UNESCO Cities of Music and a host of specialists and supporting partners - a number of best practices will be identified from amongst European cities and international experts.

📖 What's inside?

The European Music Cities Policy Guide is a valuable resource of insights, recommendations, and case studies contributed by over 100 professionals from across Europe. It delves into the multifaceted relationship between music and our cities, highlighting its impact on urban development, culture, economics, and social cohesion. This guide shall become your and our go-to resource for understanding and advocating for music as a driving force behind positive change.

🚀 Get Ready to Dive In!

We invite you to explore and discover:

  • Innovative Strategies: Learn how music can influence and enhance city policies, from education to tourism, infrastructure to inclusivity.

  • Inspiring Case Studies: Dive into real-world examples of cities that have harnessed the power of music to create thriving communities.

  • Practical Recommendations: Find actionable steps that can help your city unlock the potential of its music ecosystem.

  • Expert Insights: Gain valuable perspectives from thought leaders, professionals, and pioneers in the music industry.

📚 What experts say about the Guide

‘Sharing knowledge and innovative experiences between cities is key to develop smarter local policies on music. The European Music Cities Policy Guide shows how powerful local policies for music can be, and how they connect to the other urban policies. A real source of inspiration!’ Julie Hervé, Head of Culture, Eurocities ‘This guide provides the essential elements a city needs to integrate the role that music plays in local policies. Of course, it is useful to those who identify as cultural actors. (Well, it is a must-read for us.) And… it is also useful to any urban actor willing to have a complete understanding of local development. The Guide shows development is unsustainable if culture (and music) are not explicitly informing plans and programmes.’ Jordi Pascual, Coordinator, UCLG Culture Committee ‘The European Music Policy Exchange Guide is a unique and exemplary guide demonstrating the importance of the economic and social values that a thriving music ecosystem bring to cities. It is unique because it gathers music experts from across Europe embracing the diversity of the cities and the diverse music sectors. The thematic chapters are exemplary in reflecting the present while keeping an eye out on the future. I wish that this Guide is read and implemented by as many city officials as possible and that it will lead to actual music policies in place that will make those cities outstanding places for the citizens and their music.’ Simone Dudt, Secretary General European Music Council, Consortium partner of MusicAIRE 'Music is ubiquitous. So much so that, taking it for granted, we sometimes forget how powerfully music knits together groups of people across many divides – be it cultural, social, or political. Music can make buildings into scenes and neighborhoods into communities. Any attempt to find policy solutions to societal challenges is made smarter by including music as a practice, industry or an ecosystem into the mix. EMPE is an invaluable initiative to amplify these efforts.' Virgo Sillamaa, music policy researcher & research coordinator, EMEE ‘The European Music Policy Exchange (EMPE) is a welcome initiative and we look forward to reading the policy Guide for European music cities coming out of this project. Studies have shown that cities placing music at the heart of their policies can boost their economy and strengthen their social fabric. This is essential for independent music companies which tend to be strong components of the cities where they establish. It will be interesting to see what recommendations come out of this project.’ Helen Smith, Executive Chair, IMPALA, European association of independent music companies ‘Music policy has evolved, especially at a city level. Thriving music ecosystems are no longer serviced by inwardly gazing only – at venues, artists, education and export opportunities. Music is woven through the fabric of what makes cities work. As city makers, we need to nurture music in the classroom, the rehearsal room, recording studio, and on stage, but also where music shapes life outside of those spaces. The future of music policy harnesses the power of music to achieve social justice, climate justice, equitable economies and thriving, meaningful, magnetic places. EMPE is a groundbreaking resource to help policy makers start to unlock this potential of music in their cities.’ Lex Davidson, Strategy Advisor – Culture, City of Sydney; and Music Cities Network Board Member ‘The European Music Policy Exchange has been a ground-breaking opportunity to exchange learning and practise whilst stimulating and creating innovative strategies that profile the value, power and agency of music for cities and their residents through the creation of the European Music Cities Guide. This initiative is a compelling example of why the work of the Music Cities Network is so crucial to the international music sector. Building this guide in partnership with the Centre of Music Ecosystems has strengthened the case for music as a force for making change, building connectivity, communities, inclusion and equity in cities as well as supporting networks of musicians, independents, venues and increasing economic impact.’ Debra King, Director Brighter Sound Manchester, Chairwoman of the Music Cities Network

📖 Where to Find the Guide?

You can access the European Music Cities Policy Guide on our website, starting today. It's a valuable resource for city officials, policymakers, music enthusiasts, and anyone passionate about the role of music in our lives.

📣 Spread the Word

Help us share this exciting news by using the hashtags #musicpolicymatters #EMPEGuide and #MusicCitiesNetwork #Centerformusckecosystems on social media. Let's make some noise about the transformative power of music!

Stay tuned for more updates and opportunities to engage with the European Music Cities Policy Guide. We can't wait to embark on this musical journey with you.

💻 Join the Webinar

Join us on November 8th, 2023, for an engaging webinar as we delve deeper into the insights shared in the European Music Cities Policy Guide.

This webinar offers a unique opportunity to discuss and explore the concepts of measuring the long-term impact of music policies, ensuring a vibrant and sustainable music ecosystem in your city. 🎶💡

Sign up today and be part of the discussion!

Shain Shapiro Music Cities Network EMPE

"Music can be an immensely powerful tool if we use it to help solve the most pressing challenges in our cities and places. We believe cities hold the power to improving lives and we look forward working with the Music Cities Network, and our partners and cities, to using music to continue to make places happen."

Dr. Shain Shapiro

Executive Director, Center for Music Ecosystems

Lena Ingwersen Music Cities Network EMPE

“This guide is the groundwork for all those involved in music policy, but also for all those who are not yet involved, to get inspired and to link city policy areas that have not been thought together before. The 8 chapters champion the undeniable positive effects of music on social, economic, cultural and ecological development. It’s time to spread the word and raise more awareness for the power of music as an integrated part of city development.”

Lena Ingwersen

Managing Director, Music Cities Network


bottom of page