Huntsville hires UK firm to power city’s music scene

Alabama’s music scene is looking to get a big boost from a global firm.

Huntsville hired Sound Diplomacy to help it bridge the gap between the city’s music scene and urban planning policy. The London-based firm will conduct a regional music audit as part of a strategy to put the Rocket City on the music industry’s map.

“To attract and retain the best and brightest workforce, Huntsville needs a dynamic music and cultural scene,” said Shane Davis, Director of Urban Development for the City of Huntsville. “This is more than an amenity – it’s part of our BIG Picture planning, economic and workforce development. We want a growth strategy for the business side of the industry to create another start-up sector for millennials, but we also want to create more cultural opportunities to enjoy music in the community. We’re convinced there’s a growing market here for the music industry.”

Alabama-based real estate firm RCP Companies is assisting in the endeavor.

“When integrated into the culture of a city, music can be a powerful vehicle to create a vibrant community,” said Max Grelier, co-founder of RCP Companies. “The city’s thoughtful approach to investing in culture will produce positive results across the region. We want to support the city’s efforts through our real estate investments. By design, our two mixed-use projects, CityCentre at Big Spring and MidCity Huntsville, can become ‘cultivators of culture’ for the region. MidCity can make an impact because of its substantial investment in entertainment-related venues and its powerful platform to launch a formal network solely dedicated to talent and music development.”

This summer, programming will begin with a performing arts center called MidCity LIVE, a music and cultural arts incubator called The 7-2, as well as The Camp Huntsville, an outdoor music destination. Country supergroup Rascall Flatts is also providing a restaurant and entertainment venue.

“What we’re doing at MidCity by establishing The 7-2 will drive sustainable economic development and support the city’s efforts,” said Grelier. “We’re not just building buildings; we’re building culture. Not only will it be a lightning rod for the city to promote the region’s music heritage, but The 7-2 and everything it stands for will also truly nurture Huntsville’s music ecosystem that extends throughout the region and the world.”

Sound Diplomacy is also working with music industry leaders in the Muscle Shoals and Florence area to add the U.S. 72 corridor to the American Music Triangle.

“Hooking our sail to The Americana Music Triangle gives us the foundation to build an economic boom for Huntsville and further demonstrate how the power of music improves the overall fiscal health – and quality of life – of cities,” said Davis. “Huntsville is joining other historical musical cities in the Shoals area and throughout the Tennessee Valley to develop regional policy that will not only promote our music but also preserve it as seeds for today’s emerging new talent.”

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