We wrote back in August about the rank of Rochester as #9 in the nation in regards to concentration of musicians and music-related businesses, with even Kingston and Albany ranked in the top 15 of small metro areas. What this says about Upstate New York is that we have a vibrant music scene, one notable enough for inclusion in this study three times, covering the western and Hudson regions. This of course led to some vibrant discussion in the UpstateLIVE group on Facebook.
Now, Zara Matheson at the Martin Prosperity Institute has created a new map of the Top 20 Metro Areas, based on the number of Musical Acts per 10,000 people. While larger metro areas like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami are on the list, towns like Honolulu, Orlando and Las Vegas are tourist areas and attract crowds to their downtown and outlying areas that lead to increased crowds for bands, leading to fans in the long run.
However, Albany ranked at number 9 seems to stand out as an outlier in this list of 20 (which also has Dutchess County at #19), because we are neither a large metro area compared to other cities on the list, nor are we a popular tourist destination. But where did all these bands come from? If Albany has roughly 100,000 people living in the city, then conservatively, we have 1,540 bands in the Albany area alone. If you take all the bands in Albany of varying size, and even skew down by a third, we still have 1,000 bands. That’s a lot of talent, especially when compared to cities of larger size that are the home of huge signed acts. Albany has had a few in their day (Blotto, moe., Ominous Seapods, to name a few) and there are many more waiting in the wings (Timbre Coup, Consider the Source, among many others) that are making a name for themselves among the relatively small population of Albany and high number of acts, per 10,000 people.
While we don’t have a tourist presence in the Albany area, one that would help give musicians a greater audience for their music, we are at a crossroads of Interstates 87 and 90, central to small suburban areas in 4 states that, with a greater push for tourism, could lead to the scene becoming even larger than it currently is. We have the bands, we just need more fans seeing more music! It’s a fan’s market out there in the greater Albany area, you just need to get out there and find some music you like and GO SEE LIVE LOCAL MUSIC!
|Top 20 Metros Based on Musical Acts per 10,000 People|
|Rank||Metro||Musical Acts per 10,000|
|9||Albany, New York||154|
|17||Santa Barbara, California||132|
|18||Newark, New Jersey||130|
|19||Dutchess County, New York||130|
|20||Bergen-Passaic, New Jersey||129|