How to Build A Scene

How to Build A Scene

The music industry is difficult because of the ever-elusive “scene”. It’s hard for labels and business professionals to understand the full scope of the music scene because it is always moving. The “cool” spot of the month might be on the other side of the city by next week. By the time you’ve heard about it, it might’ve moved to back to the other side.


To fully utilize a scene, you need to be able to capture the entire pie. To go about accomplishing this, you would need to know where all the musicians are, who they are, and where they perform.


Until recently, it would considered be impossible to say that one fully knows the entire scene. The manpower it would take would be astonishing and most likely, not worth the effort – too many temporary and emerging bands . However, with a combination of technology and savvy real estate knowledge, it is now becoming more and more possible.


First is knowing all the groups and learning which sounds are emerging before they even hit the stage. At Music City, we will have a suite of 50 fully-backlined rehearsal rooms. This means that we have a unique traffic combination of working musicians and emerging unnamed groups. This mix is causes the blending of new and old genres being played in the same halls. Having an environment where musicians cross paths and have the opportunity to hear other groups outside of the studios is huge for the growth of a scene.


Second is knowing which groups and sounds are “better”  than others. The “best” sound is the one that captures the attention of the fans for the longest period of time. This metric can only be determined at the venue. You can use streaming numbers to analyze attention but it only will really register after many marketing campaigns (people listen to what others are listening too). Having attention measured at the venue provides real-time tangible feedback that can be applied to multiple market types.


If there was a company that was able to capture these areas of interest – the rehearsal rooms and the emerging venues, they would have the fullest possible picture of the local music market. The trick isn’t getting this information but utilizing it to maximize the potential of a single market.


From there, the secret is learning how to leverage your capacity to maximize your organization’s strength. By being able to essentially monopolize the local music market, the entity in charge must use it’s power to create opportunities for emerging artists.

  • Digital Distribution – combining bigger name artists with smaller acts to increase awareness of scene.
  • Licensing – providing licenses to film and advertising agencies looking to capture the “silicon valley” or “SF” sound.
  • Artist Development – creating a pipeline of tools and services to allow empowered artists to create meaningful work to impact and change society.
  • Education – have a handful of classes (performance, songwriting, music industry), taught by regionally-known professionals, to get artists knowledge boost and begin creating connections in the industry.
  • Networking – leveraging a physical location to music organizations as a place to host meetups, guest lectures, and collaborative events.
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