In an effort to bolster the nation’s music tourism sector, U.S. Senators John Hickenlooper and Marsha Blackburn introduced the bipartisan American Music Tourism Act this week. The legislation, aimed at supporting and expanding tourism for those seeking to travel to see their favorite performers live, calls on the Department of Commerce to develop a comprehensive plan to attract more domestic and international visitors to music venues across the United States.

“Music venues are the custodians of our cultural heritage,” stated Senator Hickenlooper in the announcement of the legislation. “From the iconic Red Rocks to the historic Grand Ole Opry and countless smaller venues nationwide, people flock to our states to enjoy world-class music and connect with one another. Our bill will assist these venues by fostering growth in the music tourism sector.”

Senator Blackburn highlighted the significant cultural and economic impacts of music tourism, particularly in her home state of Tennessee. “From Graceland in Memphis to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, and beyond, Tennessee hosts numerous musical landmarks. This legislation not only promotes this rapidly growing sector but also ensures that music lovers worldwide can enjoy and celebrate our rich musical heritage for years to come.”

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The proposed legislation requires the Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism at the Commerce Department to formulate and execute a strategy to enhance music tourism nationally. Additionally, it mandates a detailed report to Congress outlining the progress and achievements of these promotional efforts.

The American Music Tourism Act has garnered support from a wide array of stakeholders, including Live Nation Entertainment, Colorado Creative Industries, Denver Arts & Venues, the Recording Academy, and several other prominent organizations within the music industry.

Josh Blanchard, Director of Colorado Creative Industries, emphasized the significant role of music in enhancing the state’s economic and cultural landscape. “The music industry is pivotal to Colorado’s thriving creative economy and overall wellbeing. This act will boost investments in our music scene, supporting not just musicians but also the venues and promoters who bring our music culture to life.”

Supporters also include Gretchen Hollrah, Executive Director of Denver Arts & Venues, who noted, “The visits by cultural tourists not only drive ticket sales but also stimulate local economies through hotel bookings, dining, and retail. Expanding this sector is indeed a valuable endeavor.”

Todd Dupler, Chief Advocacy and Public Policy Officer at the Recording Academy, commended the senators for their dedication. “This bill will amplify the economic and cultural contributions of the music community, enhancing the understanding of music’s impact both domestically and globally.”

Echoing this sentiment, Mitch Glazier, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, praised the act’s potential to enrich music fans’ experiences across the country. “From the historic Grand Ole Opry to the legendary Telluride Bluegrass Festival, this act encourages more visitors to experience the vibrant legacy of American music firsthand.”

Stephen Parker, Executive Director of the National Independent Venue Association, highlighted the broader economic benefits. “Independent stages draw investment and tourists, benefiting not only the artists but also the surrounding businesses. This act recognizes music tourism as a key economic driver and makes its growth a national priority.”

The American Music Tourism Act is touted by its supporters as a significant step forward in recognizing and supporting the music industry’s role in the U.S. economy. With music tourism projected to generate over $11.3 billion in revenue by 2032, stakeholders are optimistic about the potential for sustained growth and innovation within the sector.

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