Quad Cities ranks among top 22 U.S. metros for musicians

The Quad Cities recently was named in the top 22 U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of musicians and singers by Vivid Seats, a leading marketplace that utilizes its technology platform to connect millions of buyers with thousands of ticket sellers across hundreds of thousands of events each year.

The Quad Cities came in at No. 11 behind such places as Nashville, Tennessee; Honolulu; and the Gulf Coast of Florida, Visit Quad Cities announced in a news release.

Vivid Seats uncovered which metros employ the highest rate of professional musicians and singers by analyzing the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, released on March 31. The analysis ranked metro areas by their number of musicians and singers per 1,000 jobs.

According to Vivid Seats, the BLS defines musicians and singers as people who “play one or more musical instruments or sing,” adding these individuals “may perform on stage, for broadcasting, or for sound or video recording.”

The BLS estimates there are 24,080 professional musicians and singers across the United States as of May 2021, suggesting a national rate of 0.17 per 1,000 jobs. The numbers do not represent traveling acts, but rather full- and part-time employees based in the cities listed.  In the Quad Cities, there are 48.3 musicians and singers per 100,000 jobs.

Music is an integral part of the cultural identity of the Quad Cities, Visit Quad Cities leaders say. It has long been the home of musicians and performers. Before other modes of faster transportation, the Mississippi River was a conduit of culture bringing different styles of music up and down the waterway. The QC’s culture of creativity continues to grow and flourish to this day. 

“We often hear from visitors and recent transplants they are surprised how active our music scene is. As residents, we often don’t realize what a diverse, creative scene we have,” Tyson Danner, executive director of the River Music Experience (RME), said in a news release. “It’s important for us all to celebrate this news. A strong music scene is not only important to the cultural vitality of a community but serves as a significant economic driver that helps our whole region succeed.”

Vivid Seats mentioned the RME, jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke, and music festivals including the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival and the Bix Jazz Festival.

“The Quad Cities has long been known for its creativity and the talented people that inspire us every day,” said Dave Herrell, president and CEO of Visit Quad Cities. “Our local artists are important to our story, the QC brand, and how we connect them to our experiences for residents and visitors. We must continue to support them while we leverage the regional destination’s creative energy which is one of our core brand pillars and platform.”


Get the free QCBJ email newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the people, companies and issues that impact business in the  Quad Cities area.