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The Best And Worst American Cities For Country Music

NashvilleBy dconvertini (Nashville, Tennessee, USA) / CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
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(Hypebot) — Whether you’re a country music fan seeking more artists, or a country musician in search of your people, a new report reveals those cities in the US which are haven for country music.

Guest post by James Shotwell of Haulix

Whether you’re a fan looking for community or an artist looking for fans, a new report has found the best cities in America for country music.

When most people think about country music, they think about Nashville. The Tennessee city is synonymous with country music, and rightfully so. The genre’s history lives in the city’s bones, and it is still producing a majority of the genre’s biggest names today, but Nashville isn’t the only place where country music thrives.

A new report from Lawnstarter has crunched an incredible amount of data to find the best American cities for country music in 2021. The information is based on the number of country radio stations, concerts, and performance venues in various regions across the country. Lawnstarted also gauged the local fandom based on Google search trends and the availability of museums dedicated to the genre.

The ten best and ten worst cities for country music in 2021 are as follows:

2021’s Best Cities for Country Music Fans

2021’s Worst Cities for Country Music Fans

1. Nashville, TN 173. Bridgeport, CT
2. Las Vegas, NV 174. Oxnard, CA
3. St. Louis, MO 175. Riverside, CA
4. Salt Lake City, UT 176. Port St, Lucie, FL
5. Grand Rapids, MI 177. Rancho Cucamonga, CA
6. Knoxville, TN 178. Corona, CA
7. Tulsa, OK 179. Clarksville, TN
8. Birmingham, AL 180. Salinas, CA
9. Atlanta, GA 181. Brownsville, TX
10. Denver, CO 182. Killeen, TX

Highlights and Lowlights:

  • Nashville: The Undisputed Capital of Country: Where else can you enjoy a pure, unvarnished country sound than where country music stars are born? Landing in first place is Nashville, Tennessee, the official capital of country music as far as we — and just about everyone else — are concerned.

    Music City sweeps nearly every category and metric in our ranking: No. 1 in Genre Interest and Everyday Listening and second place in Performance Access.

    This chart-topping performance really is no surprise: After all, Nashville is home to the famous Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

    Want to make country music, not just listen to it? There’s no shortage of recording studios here, which is likely why country stars like Dolly Parton, Kacey Musgraves, and Taylor Swift have made Nashville (or the area) home base.

  • Other Country Hubs: Besides Nashville at No. 1, America’s iconic country cities seemed to naturally gravitate toward the top of our ranking. Knoxville, Tennessee, lands in comfortable sixth place, while Tulsa, Oklahoma, finishes seventh, and Austin, Texas, boot-scoots in at a respectable No. 12. Bakersfield, California, slips down to No. 61 — mostly due to lack of Google search interest and concert venues (No. 146 in both metrics).

    And how did St. Louis land in the top five? Well, the Gateway City known more for jazz and blues is also home to Nelly, who has gone a Lil Bit country. Yesteryear Country Music Hall of Fame act The Kendalls (Heaven’s Just a Sin Away) has St. Louis roots, too. And Redneck Woman Gretchen Wilson hails from Pocahontas, Illinois, about 40 minutes east of the Arch.

    Las Vegas at No. 2, Grand Rapids, Michigan at No. 5, and Birmingham, Alabama in eighth place are other surprise acts. A full calendar of country performances and a healthy presence of country radio stations in each of these cities helped them stand out among the competition.

  • Killeen Me Softly: If you need a good cry, this should make you tear up: Killeen, Texas, hit rock bottom in our ranking at No. 182.

    What went wrong? Well, almost everything: Killeen ties for last place in three out of four categories, including Genre Interest, Performance Access, and Everyday Listening. It ranks fifth from the bottom for Venue Access, but what good is an empty concert hall?

    Killeen’s country music fans will have to tune in to YouTube and Spotify to get their fix. That or let Jesus take the wheel and drive them down a country road to Austin (No. 12 overall).

You can find some additional infographics below:

James Shotwell is the Director of Customer Engagement at Haulix and host of the company’s podcast, Inside Music. He is also a public speaker known for promoting careers in the entertainment industry, as well as an entertainment journalist with over a decade of experience. His bylines include Rolling Stone, Alternative Press, Substream Magazine, Nu Sound, and Under The Gun Review, among other popular outlets.

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