Mar 16, 2022 - Things to Do

Dallas named second-worst American city for live music

Marc Anthony on a lit up stage
Marc Anthony on stage at American Airlines Center last year. Photo: Omar Vega/Getty Images

Dallas is one of the worst cities in America for live music, according to new data from Clever, a real estate research firm.

Driving the news: Using public data from the U.S. Census, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Google Trends, a list published this month ranks Dallas as the second-worst live music city among the top-50 metro areas in the country and the fifth-worst city for music overall, as first reported by the Dallas Observer.

Why it matters: North Texas has been a boon for up-and-coming musicians over the last few decades, producing a plethora of national stars in multiple genres, including Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Post Malone, Leon Bridges, Norah Jones, Maren Morris and Erykah Badu.

The big picture: A spokesperson for Clever told the Observer that Dallas ranked so low because the average price of tickets for major shows in Dallas is $158, there are too few concert venues and the area lacks music festivals.

Context: Local venues have long complained about the high-paying casinos on the other side of the Oklahoma border having big-name performers sign non-compete clauses that prevent them from playing in Dallas.

  • The economics of the local music scene are rough in general. Joshua Ray Walker told Axios last year that even with his surging popularity, he’d be happy to make $60,000 in a year.

Zoom out: Austin was ranked first for live music and fourth overall, largely because of its huge number of musical festivals.

  • Three of the bottom ten cities are in Texas, with Houston and San Antonio ranked just behind Dallas.

What they’re saying: Musician Adam Pickrell, who is also Nelly Furtado’s musical director, told the Observer that the list ranking Dallas so low is “shallow and pedantic.”

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