Pittsburgh Music Ecosystem Project​​​

Dedicated to evaluating Pittsburgh's music ecosystem in order to increase success and sustainabilty


The Pittsburgh Music Ecosystem Project was spearheaded in October 2017 after a Visit Pittsburgh survey found that Pittsburgh’s music and nightlife scene was rated lower than other aspects of the city’s tourist experience.

This echoed frustrations felt by Pittsburgh’s music and nightlife community professionals and inspired 91.3 WYEP, The City of Pittsburgh Office of Nighttime Economy and Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership to form the Project.

The goal of the Pittsburgh Music Ecosystem Project is to conduct an in-depth review and assessment of the current challenges within Pittsburgh’s music and nightlife community in order to turn them into opportunities that will facilitate growth and sustainability.

The Project hired Don Pitts, co-Founder of Sound Music Cities, Inc. (SMC), to lead the study. SMC’s mission to promote positive community and economic growth within music communities is a direct fit with our Project’s goals.

Although an outsider, Don’s 25 years in the music and entertainment industry gives him the experience needed to gain perspective on Pittsburgh’s current scene and offer solution-based ideas.

Before SMC Don handled entertainment relations for Gibson Guitars and was later head of the Music & Entertainment Division of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department where he gained the nickname “The Sounds Whisperer” for reducing sound complaints by 70%. Don has also spent time throughout his career managing bands and venues as well as mediating community-commercial relations.

To learn more about Don and Sound Music Cities, visit their website .

At this point the Project is still in its study phase. So far this has included input on diverse aspects of the current music ecosystem from music professionals, musicians, city officials, and community representatives through interviews, focus groups, site research, and most recently a public Town Hall (listen to audio from the Town Hall here ).

Through these conversations a diverse array of aspects have been taken into consideration including our regulatory environment, audience trends, access to training and mentorship, availability of music spaces and many other factors.

The Project will conclude with a final report due this summer that will include an in-depth assessment of our music and nightlife scene along with recommendations for improvements to enhance existing activity and build more opportunities for different genres of music, performance and production.

To clear up any confusion - the Project – including Don’s work – is being funded by grant money from the generous support of the Heinz Endowments and Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

#PGHMusicUnites #PGHMusicSurvey

Again, if you missed out on attending the Music Ecosystem Project Town Hall on February 27th you can hear the audio
here .