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Facts & Research


2024 | Industry Economics

A Summary Report On The Music Industry In Chicago | CMC

This study compares Chicago’s music industry and scene to similar cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Memphis, Austin and Seattle. It also details the size, scope and significance of Chicago music as an economic engine and compares its economic contributions to our peer cities across the country.

Key Findings

  • Chicago ranks third among metropolitan areas in the size of music industry, as measured by overall employment, number of business establishments, payroll size and recording sales.
  • Chicago ranked fourth among all U.S. cities in the number of concerts and performances in 2004.
  • In 2004, music shows in Chicago generated $80 million in ticket sales, placing Chicago fifth among cities in the comparison group.
  • Chicago ranks fifth in the number of musicians and musical groups employed, supporting twice as many musicians as Seattle and ten times as many as Austin.
  • Chicago has a strong live music scene that is attractive to tourists and the “creative class,” offering an impressive number of affordable tickets to high-quality shows.
  • Specialized musical venues account for a bigger portion of the music scene in Chicago than nearly every other major U.S. city.

Source: Chicago Music Commission (CMC)