Jan 18, 2012

Where are the good music groups from?

Last year I became interested in identifying the determinants of good music. Why were some years better than others, why were some countries better than others at producing good recording artists? So far I only managed to examine the time dimension, as the data I had covered mostly the US and the UK. I found that music was better in high-growth years and in high- (but not too high) inflation years.

Now Patrick Adler, a grad student in Urban Planning at UCLA, gathered locational data on the 2012 Coachella acts (Coachella is now one of the biggest music festivals in the US).
Unsurprisingly, most acts are from London, LA, and New York. What is more surprising is the performance of Stockholm and Austin. If we control for population size, these cities now rank first and second as the biggest suppliers of bands.
It would be interesting to gather a dataset covering all festivals and then check what are the city-level determinants of good music. For sure, population matters. And so does agglomeration. As Richard Florida, writing for The Atlantic, from which I have taken these graphs, writes, "the world of popular music is spiky. More than two-thirds of Coachella’s international roster of acts (71 percent) hail from just 14 metros.  And four in 10 (43 percent) come from the “big three” of London, LA, or New York."


Anonymous said...

could ethnicity also be a determinant as well?


Pierre-Louis said...

u mean anglophone cities produce more? or ethnic diversity?