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Huntsville could become first city in the country to have a 'music advisory board'

The Huntsville City Council hired a consulting firm to study what it will take for Huntsville to grow its music economy.

Posted: Aug 23, 2019 6:57 PM
Updated: Aug 23, 2019 7:31 PM

Huntsville could become the first city in the country to have a "music advisory board."

The City of Huntsville entered into an agreement in 2018 with Sound Diplomacy to conduct an extensive music audit to determine what Huntsville needs to become the next city with music.

Sound Diplomacy is a London-based consulting firm that has been studying Huntsville's music economy. They found in order to bring a growing music industry to the city, communication between the city and the music industry is important.

The consultants were hired by city council and found Huntsville needs more music events for local musicians, annual music forums, and a music advisory board that would work with the city to make changes.

WAAY 31 spoke with a local musician about what this could mean for the community and music in Huntsville.

"It's gonna change everything as you know it. You can actually be a full-time musician without worrying about the struggle of being a musician, so that changes a few things," said Dray Langlord.

Dray Langlord has lived in Huntsville for 16 years and plays drums in a band. He says it's time to make Huntsville a city where musicians can make a living.

Langlord also told WAAY 31 that “the presentation today was amazing. We got a lot of great information about where Huntsville is going in the music scene."

Humphrey's Bar & Grill, which hosts live musicians every night, is already active in the local music scene. Jackie McGill manages the bar and says it could only make Huntsville better.

"I think they'd be happy. You know everyone in Huntsville has always seemed to support music and in the music scene and local musicians here, so I think it would be nothing but more good things," said McGill.

Huntsville is the first U.S. city Sound Diplomacy has studied. The consultants also suggested a music week and an annual industry event that brings musicians here from across the country.

Langlord also tells WAAY 31 "We got information that we can actually set history and set the precedent of where music can go in the future. So, I thought that was really exciting about where Huntsville is going and the vast growth that we have here."

The next step in the process would be for the city to hire a music advisory board that will focus on implementing the study's suggestions into the community. The city paid Sound Diplomacy $150,000 for the study and said Huntsville needs a dynamic music scene to attract and retain the best workforce.

The audit also mentions how the amphitheater slated for MidCity would be a good venue for future plans in the city. It also mentions that Huntsville needs to connect with Muscle Shoals and Chattanooga to connect the music scenes, calling it the "Music River Trail."

For more information on this study, click here.

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