Local Current Blog

Minneapolis ranked 2nd best music scene by Livability

In a study that sensibly excludes L.A., New York City, and Nashville — each recognized as benchmark music cities — the site Livability has compiled a list of the 10 best music scenes in the country and placed Minneapolis at #2.

Before we get too carried away, a quick note about how the study was conducted: “To select them, we researched other music and travel media rankings and accolades about scenes, venues and record stores. Then we asked for more direction from musicians who’ve toured the country extensively and gave nominations and tips,” the site says.

Minneapolis comes in right after first-place winner Athens, Georgia, which is cited for producing acts like the B52s, R.E.M., and Danger Mouse, and in front of third place city Portland; other cities recognized in the list are more surprising, such as Omaha (#5), Forth Worth (#7, with no mention of Austin, Texas), and Tulsa (#9).

The piece on Minneapolis tells us little we don’t already know: We have excellent venues like First Avenue and the Varsity, a wealth of independent record stores, and a summer schedule packed with outdoor music festivals. It’s always interesting to see which Minnesota acts national publications choose to highlight in studies such as these, and Livability’s list name-checks all the usual suspects: Prince, Soul Asylum, The Replacements, and Husker Du, plus Tapes ‘n Tapes and The Time.

Another fascinating tidbit from the article is that it mentions Bob Dylan’s ties to the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s collection of downtown Minneapolis venues. Dylan co-owned the Orpheum Theatre with his brother up until it was purchased by the City of Minneapolis in the late ’80s.

Check out the full list of Livability’s best music scenes here.