The Shoals Music Strategy Released

By  | November 30, 2019 | Filed under: News

Year long study calls for regulatory reform, greater focus on tourism and more recognition of the role of music across The Shoals economic development

Image result for muscle shoals music THE SHOALS-A greater focus on music tourism, harmonizing regulations across​       music and entertainment, creative workforce development and more partnerships across Northern Alabama are a few of the 38 recommendations that are being launched as part of the first comprehensive music strategy to be commissioned in The Shoals.

Led by the Muscle Shoals Music Association in partnership with the Muscle Shoals Music Foundation, Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, FAME Recording Studios, Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, RCP Companies, the cities of Tuscumbia, Florence, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals, the Muscle Shoals National Heritage Area and the University of North Alabama, ​The Shoals Music Strategy provides an extensive blueprint​       to work off of to continue to expand the role of music across the region’s economic development, tourism and community engagement strategies.

The study found that music, in its totality, is worth $49M annually to The Shoals overall economy with

The Shoals region outpacing the per capita per-person value of music, which is $678 (compared with $444 nationally).  This equates to 479 jobs, or 1.6% of the total workforce and 1% of the total economic output of the area.  The full economic impact is available in the report, which is available at

Already, a number of initiatives have taken place to expand this number, including the development​ ​of new venues and the reforming of entertainment and licensing regulations in both Florence and Sheffield.  The study makes the case that by further harmonizing​ ​cultural district, noise and street performance regulation, The Shoals can further expand its music tourism offer and increase its presence as a recording hub.  At the same time, more sustained partnerships have been struck across North Alabama, via an initiative linking FAME Studios with RCP Companies’ MidCity development and more partnerships with music associations in the region.

The study engaged with more than 200 professionals over a twelve month period.  It also mapped the music ecology across the region and engaged with a wide range of stakeholders across city government, the music ecosystem and wide industries.  The study was written by London, Berlin, Barcelona and New Orleans based firm, Sound Diplomacy.

Rodney Hall, President & General Manager of FAME Studios: ​“We are super excited about revealing the results of the study.  There are many great new ideas included in the study, as well as ideas that have been discussed for decades.  These recommendations made from quantifiable research will be an amazing asset as the North Alabama music community continues to work together to grow the next generation of music related industry professionals.”

Judy Hood, Chairman, Muscle Shoals Music Foundation:​ “​This study was a unified effort involving all four cities. Debbie Wilson and I met with each mayor prior to the study and they signed off on it and supported it every step of the way. This strong commitment from our community leaders positions us to take the music industry and music tourism to the next level. We appreciate their support of the study and look forward to working with them on the next steps.“

Mayor Steve Holt, Mayor of Florence:  “​The music industry in the Shoals is tremendously important to our economy and quality of life. In order to continue the momentum we’ve experienced in recent years we must follow a solid plan with all 4 cities working in concert to implement the major elements revealed in the study”

Rob Carnegie, CEO of Florence Lauderdale Tourism​:  “This study puts forward some strong practical recommendations that will advance the music strategy for The Shoals,  and put us in a position to further nurture and support our music history and current offerings. Working together will only strengthen the music economy in our area.”

Mayor Kerry Underwood, Mayor of Tuscumbia:​  “​Tuscumbia is happy to participate in this Music Cities Study. Our Shoals area is rich in music heritage and I am confident this report will give us the needed direction to remain relevant in today’s time. With tourism being such an important economic driver locally, now is the perfect season to be more proactive.  I am committed to working with our local leadership to create a more music friendly environment based on what this report will recommend to us.”

The study will be launched at​ 4pm on Monday, December 2nd​ at The Marriott​ ​Shoals Hotel & Spa​ ​in

Florence. ​10 Hightower Pl, Florence, AL 35630.

To attend, sign up here: ​ For more information, contact


Media Release/Rodney Hall/Fame Recording Studio

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