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Does it matter where you live if you want a music career?


You know you want a job in the music industry, but where exactly do you need to live?  Some cities live and breathe music industry, and some cities, well, not so much. So if you want to make it in music – either on the business or creative side – do you need to pack your bags and head for some music city center? 


As someone who is moving in a few days and is neck deep in cardboard and stress, my first instinct is to tell you: don't move – ever. But that's not a very good answer, is it? I think the real answers is: it depends. Sure, if you live in a place where there is a big industry presence, there are very tangible advantages. If you are looking for work at a music related business, then there are jobs (theoretically, of course). If you are a musician, your chance of having a few industry people in the audience increases exponentially. Plus, you're likely to simply have more places to play.  Those are good things, but they are not guarantees.


First of all, if you move to a big music city, I promise you won't be the first musician with that idea. Your show suddenly got a lot less special simply because it is one of possibly hundreds of events going on on any given night. It's harder to get press, and those industry people who COULD come to your show are spoiled for choice – as are fans. The cost of living tends to be higher in many industry centers, which is a real concern for up and coming musicians.  If you want to work on the business side of the industry, but want to start your own business, then you have a little bit more flexibility in terms of location than someone who wants to get a job at an existing company.


Ultimately, you will have to build relationships with other music related businesses, but the internet, phone and some travel days might allow you to run your business effectively from just about anywhere.  In the end, living somewhere with a big industry presence has its pros, but technology and travel can help offset the downside of living elsewhere IF you have the time and resources to put into managing long distance relationships.  Learn more about the impact of location on your music career.