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What is Music Tourism?

Updated: Nov 11, 2020

Many of us are looking for a different cultural experience, and music tourism is a great way to achieve that. Music tourism is when you travel to a city or country to see a music performance such as a festival or a concert. In music tourism, travelers enjoy their favorite musicians in live performances, as well as explore the destination where the musical event is held. Music tourism helps give smaller towns exposure and helps boost the local economy. Travel to attend a music event has become increasingly popular as hundreds of travelers in past years have attended music events such as Afrochella, Glastonbury, and Montreux Jazz Festival. The trend will only continue to grow.

Music tourism is a sub-set of the larger type of tourism called Cultural Tourism which includes travel to attend festivals focusing on a theme such as food, beverage (wine, scotch, etc.), film and literary. There are also a number of annual carnivals, events that include music, dancing and street parties. Some major ones include Rio Carnival in Brazil, which attracts 500,000 foreign visitors annually, and the Salvador de Bahia carnival, which is the largest street party and attracts crowds of up to two million people throughout its week-long duration. A smaller carnival that highlights the African culture s but just as exciting is Fire Festival (Festival del Fuego) in Santiago de Cuba.

There is a strong demand for music tourism internationally and at home. In a survey conducted by eDreams, 1 in 4 Americans will visit a different country to see a live performance by their favorite musician. 23% of Americans are the most likely to visit a location out of inspiration for the local music style. The opportunity for travel advisors to create packages aimed at music lovers has blossomed.

Which places in America are great for music tourism?

While the bulk of music events that attract tourists are held abroad, some destinations are widely known as music hubs. Being the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans is a city that was made for music tourism. There are over 130 festivals a year, which equates to a festival every three days. One festival that is held in New Orleans is Jazz Fest, which takes place from late April to early May. Almost 500,000 attendees flock to Jazz Fest every year to hear music from different genres.

Memphis, Tennessee is another city that's well-known for its musical heritage. Home to musical landmarks such as Graceland and Beale Street. There are countless tours you can take to learn about the city's musical history, and you can visit landmarks frequented by music legends.

And we must mention the self-proclaimed largest music festival in the world is Summerfest, an 11-day event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with an annual attendance of nearly 1,000,000 people.

All in all, music tourism has grown steadily in recent years. It's a unique way for travelers to experience culture by getting a taste of the local music scene. Small towns and cities are benefitting immensely from music tourism, as the music events contribute to the local economy. It's also lucrative for the musician, especially in the digital age, where album sales are declining and music streaming services have taken over.

For more details on events and venues in our favorite American music cities, get your free copy of our Guide to Music Cities in America. Use the guide to plan your next road trip or vacation close to home!


When you are ready to start planning your next vacation contact Black Soul Rhythms Travel. All you have to do is pick who you will travel with .... or go solo. Submit a booking inquiry today!

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Zaleska, Kasia. (2019, January 21). Music Tourism: A Closer Look At Why Music Festivals Attract Their Audience, from DiggitMagazine:

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