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Austin may be one of the best cities for music fans — but we're not No. 1

Austin may be one of the best for music fans — but we're not No. 1

Austin City Limits Festival ACL 2014 Weekend One Day Three Crowd Shot
Austin may be the Live Music Capital of the World, but it's not the best city for music fans. Photo by Shelley Neuman

We're the Live Music Capital of the World, but a few cities fare better than Austin for music fans, at least according to this new study.

Personal finance website ValuePenguin recently released a list of the Best Cities for Music Fans in 2016, determined by 15 metrics in three musical categories: the band, the crowd, and the intangibles. While Austin ranks the fifth best overall, the study points out a few things this music city needs to work on.

The band category, where Austin ranks No. 17, looks at the number of artists and musical groups, musicians and singers, and recording studios per 1,000 residents, as well as the median wage for musicians and singers — an area that needs improvement. At $24.96 per hour, we rank No. 46.

And here's a real bummer. The Capital City ranks No. 65 in the crowd category, which measures the number of radio stations, instrument shops, music stores, and bars per 1,000 Austinites, as well as the top venues. We should note that ValuePenguin didn't take into account music festivals, of which we have plenty. 

It's the intangibles, however, that really make Austin stand out. Our sunny weather, late hours, quality of music schools, decent public transportation, and high percentage of folks with arts degrees contribute to our best ranking, No. 14.

Four music-friendly cities outshine Austin on the list: Nashville, Tennessee (No. 1); Honolulu (No. 2); Seattle (No. 3); and Madison, Wisconsin (No. 4). But Austin is No. 1 in Texas — and no other city comes close.