What is it? Music tourism can be leveraged to draw in visitors and tourism dollars. Music tourism includes revenue from concerts and festivals as well as merchandise, and money spent on hotels, transportation, and restaurants – not to mention the additional jobs created in hospitality.
What it looks like according to folks we talked to…
A mixture of venues are available (both indoor and outdoor)
Major music festivals and events draw in visitors
Positive economic impacts on local businesses like hotels and restaurants
Local use of a Destination Marketing Fee (DMF)
City/town council shows support through:
Equipping public venues for music shows (e.g.,sound systems, power, bathrooms)
Affordable/subsidized rental rates of public venues
Facilitating connections with local businesses and organizations outside the city/town
Incorporating music into tourism plans and activities
Providing promotion, advertising, and/or marketing support
Keep scrolling for ideas and examples of bringing music tourism to life in your corner of Alberta.
Not sure where to start? Look for ideas with the colour associated with your role in the music industry:
Busking is a great way to incorporate music into local tourism. It showcases local musical talent to visitors, activates spaces, enhances the overall visitor experience and gives local performers opportunities.
Straightforward permitting processes encourage artists to get involved. Consider what makes for successful busking (e.g., high visibility) when determining where busking can take place. See example of busking policies and information to include from Albertan jurisdictions in the next column.
Create ways for businesses, organizations and buskers to connect—make it easy for performances to happen!
Explore the possibility of regional busking permits.
Resource/Info: Impacts Map (UK-based resource eventIMPACTS walks through various impact measures with examples and methods for measuring)
Info: While an economic impact assessment can be a large undertaking, towns can look for smaller-scale, but meaningful measures for them to calculate local impact (e.g., ticket sales, tracking overnight hotel stays during particular events, surveying local restaurants and bars after large festivals, etc.).
Create a live music calendar for your town/city (include other events pertinent to locals and visitors).
Provide funding streams to support large-scale music events that can draw tourists.
Promote local music events, particularly larger-scale events meant to draw in visitors.
Local Example: City of Airdrie Community Event Grant provides seed funding for new or up-and-coming festivals and events that demonstrate goals to enhance arts, culture, heritage
Local Example: Cultivate and leverage connections with larger-scale tourism organizations (e.g., Travel Albertaor local tourism organizations like Go East of Edmonton).
Info: Depending on your town’s current tourism rates, collecting a tourism marketing fee can leverage current event success to better market future events. One example is a Destination Marketing Fee(explanation from the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association + considerations for when to implement)
Share resources by considering the possibility of regional music plans that can maximize impact for neighbouring communities.
Tourisme Alberta — French-language tourism guides and information for the province of Alberta.
Travel Alberta— Another potential source of funding and information. Of the 166 projects funded by Travel Alberta in 2022-23, about 75 per cent of the projects and 70 per cent of the funding were in smaller urban and rural areas of the province (source).