New Orleans Officially Proclaimed a Music Town

Readers of OffBeat, and the Weekly Beat are aware that New Orleans is, and always has been, a music town. One of the reasons the print edition of OffBeat Magazine has always been distributed in local hotels is that when the magazine first appeared over 31 years ago, we knew that visitors to New Orleans have always perceived that the city’s music is a very important part of its appeal. In tourism study after study conducted through the years, the top reasons visitors come to New Orleans are “food” and “music.”

In fact, when you look at OffBeat‘s readership demographic, you can’t classify all of our readers into neat little piles, like “live in New Orleans vs. visit New Orleans” or “male vs. female” or “aged 35 to 45, 46 to 64, or 65+.” The key denominator is that all of our readers across our various platforms (print, digital, newsletter and social media) are seriously enraptured by New Orleans music—all different kinds, too. They are pretty disparate demographic groups of people who happen to be “into” our music: members of the Church of New Orleans.

Yet the city’s music has never had top billing in marketing and advertising to entice visitors to New Orleans.

That’s going to change in 2020, as New Orleans & Co. and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) have chosen music as their theme in the upcoming year’s marketing push.

While we all know intuitively and anecdotally that music is key to New Orleans’ appeal, 360i, the advertising agency for NOTMC, filmed a variety of musicians, performing in a concert last August that created a “first-of-its-kind music experience that celebrates the musical significance and diversity of New Orleans. The live concert was curated using Spotify data from listeners from all over the country who share a passion for the music of New Orleans.” Participants came together for a private, live concert at Preservation Hall. Footage from the concert has been developed into a trailer, Spotify album, and a full-length film to debut in early 2020.

Spotify listeners’ data has been developed into a curated “Offline Playlist” that features local performers ranging from Curren$y, Jon Batiste, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and many more, including Irma Thomas, Mannie Fresh, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Amanda Shaw, Walter “Wolfman” Washington, Craig Adams and Boyfriend). Collectively, the artists have more than 100 million Spotify streams and six Grammy nominations. This is the first Spotify playlist to be recreated live, and also developed into a full-length documentary. The official trailer is shown below and the Live Spotify album here.