Austin: Not the Live Music Captial of the World

The City of Austin likes to claim that Austin is “The Live Music Capital of the World.” I suppose that’s a more palatable claim than the more apt description, “The People’s Republic of Austin.” That moniker is owed to the predilections of Austin’s all-Democrat city council, which dispenses taxpayers’ money like manna from city hall, itself a monstrous monument to Austin’s commissariat:


In any event, Austin is not the live music capital of the world. It isn’t even the live music capital of the U.S., according to a new study of the music industry in the nation’s 50 most populous metropolitan areas:

  • Figure 4 of that study indicates that Austin ranks fourth in the number of musicians employed in the music industry per 1,000 residents. The top three: Nashville (first by a wide margin), New York, Los Angeles.
  • Figure 6 indicates that Austin ranks fourth in the total number of persons directly employed in the music industry per 1,000 residents. The top three: Nashville (first by a wide margin), Los Angeles, New York.
  • Austin is among the laggards in absolute numbers of musicians, other industry employees, number of establishments, payrolls, and revenues (figures 2, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11).

It’s evident that Austin is not the capital of anything, when it comes to music. It may be the capital of smugness, though San Francisco, Manhattan, and a few other places are probably in Austin’s class (and I don’t mean “classy”).

Austin is the capital of Texas. Well, more precisely, the Capitol of Texas is in Austin. But that’s a historical accident. Austin is to the rest of Texas (Houston excepted) as George W. Bush is to MoveOn.org.