4th Annual Texas Sounds & Cities - RECAP
A recap of the 4th Annual TEXAS SOUNDS & CITIES from the Texas Music Office's Community Relations & Outreach Specialist, Chip Adams:
The TMO’s Music Friendly Community (MFC) program is built upon communication and collaboration with our cities around Texas. Bringing our communities together several times each year helps keep important conversations happening between cities, which we do with our virtual round table discussions and the annual TMO Texas Sounds & Cities Conference. This year marked our fourth conference, uniting our music cities for a day of speakers, panels and networking.
Thank you to the amazing team at Visit Fort Worth for partnering with us on this year’s Texas Sounds & Cities. Also, thank you to our hosts at Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall and Billy Bob’s Texas. It is always a pleasure to be back in Fort Worth, and these spaces gave all of our attendees a great taste of what Cowtown is all about. Thank you for your wonderful hospitality.
Texas Sounds & Cities kicked off on Wednesday, November 9 with a welcome reception at Second Rodeo Brewing, one of the great spots within the Mule Alley development in the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards. This gave us time to catch up with our MFC Liaisons, and for them to spend some quality time networking together prior to the beginning of our conference programming.
Thursday morning started early with coffee and breakfast tacos at the latest Stockyards venue, Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall. During this start to our programming, Fort Worth Chef Tim Love, musician Larry Joe Taylor, and Live Nation’s Dallas Market President Anthony Nicolaidis, announced their new Fort Worth Stockyards Music Festival during a press conference. TMO Director Brendon Anthony was on hand to conduct a panel, discussing the topic of how to build a thriving music scene in your city, anchored by the announcement of this new festival. Chef Tim Love then gave our attendees a detailed tour of his new Tannahill’s space, getting a sneak peek at this great new venue and tavern.
At the conclusion of the tour, we walked over to the legendary Billy Bob’s Texas, home for the remainder of our Texas Sounds & Cities programming for the day. Billy Bob’s General Manager Marty Travis gave conference attendees quite the tour of the World’s Largest Honky Tonk, chock full of history tidbits from this staple of live Texas music.
Upon the conclusion of the tour, we dove into our official TMO welcome from Director Brendon Anthony. I then gave a 2022 update on our Music Friendly Communities, showing the accomplishments from certified cities and the steady growth overall for the program. TMO Program Specialist Steve Ray then took the stage to tell our attendees about opportunities outside of Texas (and the US) for marketing their local musicians.
Wrapping up our TMO housekeeping, the event continued on with our first speaker of the day, Shain Shapiro from Sound Diplomacy. Shain’s wealth of knowledge on music ecosystems and policies around the globe gave our attendees great insights into their own local strategies. This presentation just came days after his own Music Cities Convention in Tulsa, so we were very appreciative he was able to stick around a few days longer to speak at Texas Sounds & Cities.
TMO’s Marketing & Communication Specialist Jenny Perkins lead a fantastic panel with Terran Fleenor and Tom Martens from Visit Fort Worth, doing a deep dive into current social media trends, best practices and case studies. The overarching message was “help us help you.” Always remember to tag the Texas Music Office if you’re posting something we could help promote!
We then welcomed Visit Grand Prairie’s Sara Dedeluk and Visit San Marcos’ Steven Anderson to give presentations on each of their cities’ Music Friendly Community programs. Hopefully their achievements helped spark some ideas that could be utilized in our other Music Friendly Communities. Ali Nichols, Production Consultant from the Texas Film Commission, was next on stage to discuss the Media Production Development Zone Program. With all of the synergy between the film and music industries, it was great having Ali on hand to talk about this great program.
Next, we brought up Lubbock Cultural Arts' Stacy Keith, the City of Waxahachie's Kelly Skistimas, and Levitt Pavillion Arlington's Latatia Teykl for a panel on "What Does a Successful Music Friendly Community Program Look Like?", moderated by TMO Director Brendon Anthony. In this panel, each MFC Liaison spoke about what they have done to build up a successful program, giving great insight and hopefully insipration for other MFC's.
We wrapped Texas Sounds & Cities 2022 with round table discussions, giving our communities some time to talk about three suggested topics:
Help Us – Ways to improve reporting and communication
Help Your Cities – Increase engagement with local stakeholders
Help Each Other – Improve regional collaboration
At the conclusion of the round tables, we asked a representative from each group to present some highlights from their conversations. A number of fantastic ideas came from this, which we will continue to discuss in our upcoming Music Friendly Community Liaison calls and virtual round tables. One of the main themes that was brought up by nearly all of the groups is that of a desire for more opportunities to speak and work more closely with other Music Friendly Communities in their regions.
Texas Sounds & Cities showed once again how wonderful it is to gather our communities together in person to have these important conversations. For our communities that were unable to attend this year, we hope to have details on 2023 early next year so you can save the date. We all left this year’s conference with new ideas, full hearts, and a continued appreciation for all of the hard work cities around our great state of Texas do every day to support their local music industries.
Thank you to all of our attendees for making the trip this year. Also, one more huge thanks to all of our speakers, panelists, and the teams at Visit Fort Worth, Tannahill’s Tavern & Music Hall, and Billy Bob’s Texas. See you all next year!
TMO x Visit Fort Worth
Chip Adams, Community Relations & Outreach Specialist
Texas Music Office, Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428, Austin, TX 78711
(512) 463-6666 office