The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership is building on its extensive music programming with a new initiative to encourage the expansion and cultivation of a more robust live music scene in Downtown Pittsburgh. At their annual meeting, this Wednesday, March 8, a panel will discuss the City-wide opportunities and challenges to increasing the amount and diversity of live music and support for local musicians. While a local music scene has both cultural and economic benefits in any neighborhood, it’s of particular importance in Downtown where it is also a contributing factor for increasing tourism and conventions. VisitPITTSBURGH recently surveyed tourists and conference attendees regarding their experience in Pittsburgh and the data identified the music and nightlife scene as the most deficient category compared to very strong responses to every other aspect of their experience.
Last year, PDP programming in Downtown engaged more than 1 million people, with greater than 260 days of events and activities that featured nearly 200 performances of live music. The newest music initiative will be built upon a previous program that PDP explored nearly 3 years ago, called “The Downtown Beat” which intended to encourage a critical mass of new and informal music venues supported by an umbrella marketing campaign. Through conversations with local restaurants, bars, foundations, and corporations, PDP determined the time was premature for the Downtown Beat initiative given other impending priorities. Since that time, PDP believes the ongoing development of the Downtown neighborhood and expansion of the Downtown restaurant and hotel community has created more conducive conditions.
According to Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, “We know that the economic impact of a vibrant nighttime economy can be transformational to a neighborhood. With the rapid development occurring in Downtown, particularly in hotels and residential, the time is ideal to again turn our attention towards cultivating a vibrant music scene that can be enjoyed by all.”
PDP is one of several organizations that present music in the Downtown neighborhood and its music initiative is just one facet of what is expected to be an elevated focus on the local music scene across Pittsburgh. Last month, 20 Pittsburghers representing stakeholders from several Pittsburgh neighborhoods, cultural organizations and city government, traveled to Austin, TX to attend the Responsible Hospitality Institute’s conference focused on “Creating a Music City.” The conference included insight on best-practices from other cities with thriving music scenes and nighttime economies including Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, London, and Amsterdam. Upon returning to Pittsburgh, conference attendees have met to discuss their learnings and consider next steps. While plans are still developing, there is significant interest from conference attendees and others to determine ways in which we can create a strategy to support and enhance the music scene in Pittsburgh. Some of these strategies are expected to be touched upon by a panel during PDP’s annual meeting this Wednesday, March 8.
The panel at the PDP’s Annual Meeting will be moderated by WYEP General Manager, Abby Goldstein, who has considerable expertise in working with musicians and managing independent radio stations. She has worked at stations throughout Texas and New Hampshire before arriving at WYEP. Abby has also worked as an independent record promoter, booking agent, and festival producer.
Panel participants are:
Tickets are still available for PDP’s annual meeting. Tickets are not needed for the live music event that follows the meeting and is open to the general public at Revel + Roost, 242 Forbes Avenue, Downtown Pittsburgh.
The performance schedule is:
4:30 – 7:00 p.m. Two Tall Twins
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. DJ Soy Sos
6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Beauty Slap
About the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) is a dynamic, nonprofit organization comprised of business and community leaders, property owners, civic organizations, foundations and residents who provide energy, vision and advocacy for Downtown Pittsburgh. Working collaboratively with its partners, the PDP strives to create a positive Downtown experience for residents, workers and visitors alike. The PDP’s strategic initiatives include clean and safe services, transportation, and economic development and advocacy. For more information, visit www.DowntownPittsburgh.com, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/downtownpitt and “like” us on Facebook.