The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Sound Diplomacy: Your guide to becoming a music city

To celebrate its fifth birthday, Sound Diplomacy – the music market development consultancy known for pioneering the idea of the ‘music city’ – has created a video that aims to explain how music impacts the places we live, and how both communities and the industry can better support it.

Founded in 2013, Sound Diplomacy now has offices in London, Barcelona and Berlin, and has over the past five years worked in more than 40 countries to bridge the gap between music, music policy and urban planning. Its current roster of clients includes the Walton Family Foundation, United Nations, Mayor of London, city of Cardiff, Lend Lease, Legal & General, German Haus at SXSW, city of Brisbane, city of Lausanne, city of Barcelona, South Arts USA and the Canadian Independent Music Association.

Future plans include publishing a night-time economy guide in April, in partnership with Tallinn Music Week, and launching a new Night Time Economy conference in South America later this year.

“It’s been five amazing, wild and adventurous years,” says Sound Diplomacy founder Shain Shapiro. “We have been lucky to have worked all over the world introducing the role of music in urban planning and public policy. But this is only the beginning.

“Every city must have a music policy to support talent development, music engagement and quality of life. We will ensure this happens.”


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.

Music Cities Convention completes speaker line-up

The Music Cities Convention has completed the speaker line-up for its third outing, with Katell Martin, responsible for the creative and cultural Industries for the city of Angers, France; Tatjana Kaube, creative director at the office of the Mayor of Berlin; James Drury, editor of Londonist; Olga Polishuk, executive director of the Strelka Institute in Moscow; and Sigurður Björn Blöndal, council leader of Reykjavik, among the new additions for the 18 May event.

The convention’s programme will consist of four panels and six presentations and will attract delegates from 60 cities, with other confirmed speakers including Mirik Milan, Amsterdam’s night mayor; Busk in London’s Dr Julia Jones; New York University’s Carlos Chirinos; Jocelyn Kane, executive director of the San Francisco Entertainment Commission; Sydney Fringe executive director Kerri Glassock; Sheffield Tramlines organiser Kate Hewitt; and South Australian government advisor Joe Hay.

The convention, which was initiated by Glastonbury booker and The Great Escape co-founder Martin Elbourne and music market development agency Sound Diplomacy, explores the relationship between city planning, strategy, development and policy and the music industry. It takes place in Brighton the day before The Great Escape, the showcase festival and music industry convention.