Nashville Music Census Welcomes 50 New Community Partners and Announces Official Start Date

Posted on: Tuesday - Feb 20, 2024

The coalition behind the Greater Nashville Music Census announced today the addition of over 50 new partners to its community-driven initiative. The latest batch of support includes a diverse mix of stakeholders ranging from CMA, the National Independent Venue Association and Tennessee Entertainment Commission to Delgado Guitars and Musicians on Call.

“We are excited to welcome so many important new voices to this initiative,” said Kelly Walberg, VP of Communications for the Community Foundation of Middle TN. “The mix of national, statewide, and local stakeholders is truly a testament to how important our industry views this Census and its potential impact.”

Along with the new batch of partners, coalition leaders also announced the official “go-live” date for the Census: Friday March 1st.

“The Census will officially be live and collecting data for the month of March,” said Chris Cobb, President of the Music Venue Alliance of Nashville. “During that time, we will be calling on all of our community partners, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to spread the word to every corner of our music industry.”

Contact: Jamie Kent Backstage Strategies

To tee that up, the Census also launched the Creative Connector Partner, an avenue for individual music industry members to sign on and help spread the word within their own networks.

“From rising rents and grocery bills, down to the newly added costs just to park on the street throughout Nashville, Music City has become harder and harder place to make a living playing music,” said local musician and Creative Connector Matthew Szlachetka. “We’ve got to find ways to make Music City more music-friendly for those of us working our butts off to make the Nashville experience memorable for so many.

“That said,” Szlachetka continued, “I’m excited to get my bandmates and friends involved in the Census to help do just that.”

Announced only two weeks ago, the initial surge of community support in the Music Census reaffirms the need for such a temperature check amidst Nashville’s explosive growth.

Doubling down on that sentiment, veteran entertainment attorney Dennis Disney added, "The explosive popularity and growth of the city and region over the past few years is the most dynamic I’ve lived through and the most impacting on the people who live in this area and work in our beloved industry.”

Disney continued by expressing that we need a better understanding of who we are and the real-world challenges. “The census will be an incredible tool to provide actionable data that can be used to help support and grow the livelihoods and lives of industry participants across all economic strata,” said Disney.

As previously reported, Nashville joins a national cohort including 20 cities collecting similar data and sharing best practices and results with one another. Some believe this may even set the stage for similar work within other Tennessee cities that proudly foster their unique music scenes.

“We are proud to join this cohort of exceptional partners supporting the Greater Nashville Music Census, which will be crucial in providing a comprehensive understanding of the local music scene, showcasing the diverse talents and genres present.” said Bob Raines, Executive Director of the Tennessee Entertainment Commission. “The data will aid in developing targeted initiatives and support systems for musicians, as we work to foster a vibrant cultural landscape across Tennessee.”

While this quickly growing coalition represents many sides of the music industry, its steering committee members still say more partners are still needed for it to be truly representative of Nashville’s diverse music scene and industry.

“So far the venues and musicians are showing up, the nonprofits are showing up, and the big associations are showing up.” said Eric Holt, founder of Lovenoise and assistant professor at Belmont University. “The excitement is real, but we need more voices at the table from the songwriting community, the publishing community, and the production side of things.”

Holt continued, “We know you’re out there hustling, come lend your voice.”

As a refresher, the Census will collect a variety of data from local musicians, music professionals, music nonprofits, and music venues regarding how they both live and work within the greater Nashville area. The area includes 14 counties in and around Nashville where music industry members have migrated to in recent years. The results will be analyzed and provide community leaders and policymakers with a roadmap of potential legislative solutions to solve some of the greatest creative challenges facing Music City.

“We are called Music City for a reason - no other city in the world can match our multi-genre talent, venues, and music business infrastructure,” said Deana Ivey, President & CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “We are proud to join other community partners in the Music Census to better understand where there are opportunities to ensure we maintain the creative culture that built the Music City brand.”

The Greater Nashville Music Census will hold an open meeting via zoom for anyone interested in learning more or getting involved on Mon Feb 26th at 3pm CT. To join as a partner or simply learn more please visit:

For press inquiries, interview requests, or additional questions, please contact Jamie Kent at