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American Music Tourism Act Introduced By Blackburn and Hickenlooper

U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) have introduced a bill to help support music tourism throughout the country. Dubbed the American Music Tourism Act of 2024, the newly introduced legislation would be an amendment to the Visit America Act that passed in 2022 and required the assistant secretary of commerce for travel and tourism to lead a coordinated national effort to rejuvenate international tourism following declines from the pandemic.
The American Music Tourism Act of 2024 requires the assistant secretary to identify locations and events in the United States that are important to music tourism and promote domestic travel and tourism to those sites and events.
“Tennesseans know a thing or two about the positive impact that music tourism has on the economy and culture,” Sen. Blackburn said in a statement. “The Volunteer State is proud to be home to so many iconic musical landmarks for tourists to enjoy – from Graceland in Memphis to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol. This bipartisan legislation promotes music tourism’s fast-growing industry and ensures fans from all over the world can celebrate the rich history of music for generations to come.”
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The act classifies music tourism as the act of traveling to a state or locality to visit historic or modern-day music related attractions including museums, studios, venues of all sizes and other sites related to music. The definition also includes traveling somewhere in the U.S. to attend a music festival, concert or other live music performance. If passed, the act would strengthen the economic benefits of music festivals like Tennessee’s Bonarroo or California’s Stagecoach, as well as music venues from Madison Square Garden in New York City to Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.
“Music venues are keepers of our culture. From Red Rocks to the Grand Ole Opry, and hundreds of small venues across our country, millions visit Colorado and all our states to hear world class musicians and connect with each other,” said Sen. Hickenlooper in a statement. “Our bipartisan American Music Tourism Act will support these venues by helping our music tourism industry grow and expand.”
The bipartisan legislation is endorsed by the Recording Academy, the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, the Recording Industry Association of America, Live Nation Entertainment, the National Independent Venues Association, Tennessee Department of Tourism Development, Tennessee Entertainment Commission, Memphis Tourism, Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism and the Overton Park Shell in Memphis.
“The Recording Academy is pleased to support the American Music Tourism Act and applauds Senators Blackburn and Hickenlooper for their continued dedication to lifting up the music community,” said Recording Academy chief advocacy and public policy officer Todd Dupler in a statement. “Music has long played an important role in our economy and culture. This bill will amplify the music community’s contributions to economic growth and increase understanding of music’s impact on the U.S. and the world.”
Live Nation’s president of Nashville music and business strategy Sally Williams also voiced her approval of the act, stating, “In Nashville, Memphis, and countless other communities across the country, a vibrant live music scene is an economic magnet that draws fans from around the globe. The American Music Tourism Act is an important piece of legislation that will help ensure live music remains a pillar of American culture and tourism, and we’d like to thank the Senator for her leadership on this issue.”
The American Music Tourism Act would leverage this existing framework within the Department of Commerce to highlight and promote music tourism in the United States with the act requiring the assistant secretary to submit their findings, achievements and activities to the congressional and senate committees within one year of its passage and every year thereafter.
“From rural communities to city centers, independent stages attract investment and visitors for the artists and professionals that put on shows and the restaurants, retail, and attractions around them,” said National Independent Venue Association executive director Stephen Parker in an endorsement. “The American Music Tourism Act finally recognizes music tourism as a catalyst for economic development and ensures its growth is a national priority. We applaud Senators Marsha Blackburn and John Hickenlooper for aligning the nation’s tourism strategy with the venues and festivals across our country that the world travels to experience.”

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